A Beautiful Disorder – The CASS Sculpture Foundation

9 October 2016 § Leave a comment

Having had the recent pleasure of a wonderful short break at the Goodwood Hotel nearby we took the opportunity to revisit the CASS Foundation (see post from previous visit). Actually located within the Goodwood Estate it displays large scale sculpture in a beautiful woodland location. The works are distributed along woodland trails, whilst a small hall and the main building house further displays of smaller work.

A Beautiful Disorder Cass Goodwood Song Ta, Why do they never take colour photos? 2016

It’s easy to be a little wary of anything to do with sculpture located in rural locations, where it is rather too easy to end up at a depressing collection of derivative organic forms or animal carvings. This however is certainly not the case here where the work is very much contemporary in style and of the highest level. A run through of some of the names featured is a sculptural who’s who: Tony Cragg, Bill Woodrow, Eduardo Paolozzi and Sean Henry for example amongst very many more.

Cass Lu Pingyuan Beautiful Disorder Cass

The current exhibition is A Beautiful Disorder, the first major exhibition of newly commissioned outdoor sculpture by contemporary Greater Chinese artists to be shown in the UK. It comprises sixteen monumental outdoor sculptures. These are shown around the grounds where the some very impressive pieces mix seamlessly with other permanent works.

Cass Beautiful Disorder Cui Jie

The historical relationship between English and Chinese landscape aesthetics is the starting point and inspiration with the title of the exhibition, A Beautiful Disorder, a quote from an influential letter written by the Jesuit missionary and artist Jean-Denis Attiret in 1743 that had a tremendous effect on English garden culture.

Cess Beautiful Disorder Bi Rongrong

Attiret used the term to describe the ability of the Chinese garden to provoke violent and often opposing sensations in the viewer through a series of theatrical framing devices.

Cass Beautiful Disorder Cheng Ran

The exhibition invites the viewer to reflect on China’s past, present and future relationship with the world at large, and provides valuable insight into the state of Chinese culture, politics and society today from the perspective of some of its most dynamic and engaging artists.

Cess A Beautiful Disorder Tu Wei Cheng

CASS is a charitable foundation in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass dedicated to commissioning new work from emerging and established artists. The Foundation’s 26 acre grounds are home to an ever-changing display of 80 monumental sculptures, many of which are available for sale with the proceeds going directly to artists.

Wang Wei Cass Sculpture A Beautiful Disorder

A Beautiful Disorder runs until 6 November 2016

For more information visit CASS Sculpture Foundation

The Cass Sculpture Foundation

10 June 2014 § Leave a comment

I have been aware of the existence of the CASS Foundation for a number of years but had somehow not got around to visiting. The trip to the Foundation’s woodland location, deep in the heart of the Sussex countryside, always seemed like something that could wait until the next trip ‘down that way’.

CASS Sculpture Foundation

In particular I have always been rather wary of anything to do with sculpture located in rural locations where it is rather too easy to end up at a depressing collection of derivative organic forms or animal carvings.

CASS Sculpture Foundation

Nevertheless the opportunity for that particular foray in to the country arrived last week as I weaved through pretty villages and leafy country lanes and through the grand gates of CASS.

CASS Sculpture Foundation

 

Immediately it was evident that this was was not going to be a disappointing visit. Standing guard outside the gates was a delightfully over the top work by Gary Webb in pink, silver and gold whilst next to the parking area were other works by Tony Cragg and Sean Henry.

CASS Sculpture Foundation

A stroll around the winding paths of the estate revealed a series of contemporary sculpture of the highest quality. An army of Peter Burke figures in corten steel stood to attention in a clearing whilst a blancmange pink zebra entitled Doppenganger by Michael Joo gazed over the adjacent fields.

CASS Sculpture Foundation

Bill Woodrow’s 2000 piece for the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square Regardless of History has found a home here as has Eduardo Paolozzi’s London-Paris – the last work that he completed before he died.

CASS Sculpture Foundation

Other notable pieces include Cao Fei’s pink inflatable pig House of Treasures Phillip King’s Suns Roots II and Juliana Cerqueira Leite’s Climb (she also has a pavilion of her work on show).

CASS Sculpture Foundation

The organisation is actually a charitable foundation in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass dedicated to commissioning new work from emerging and established artists. The Foundation’s 26 acre grounds are home to an ever-changing display of 80 monumental sculptures, many of which are available for sale with the proceeds going directly to artists.

CASS Sculpture Foundation

The main building has a changing exhibition – currently the excellent Gary Webb as well as a few books and a complimentary cup of tea of coffee to round off a delightful and worthwhile trip to the country.

The CASS Sculpture Foundation is open 7 days a week 10.30-4.30 through the summer

CASS, New Barn Hill, Goodwood, near Chichester  PO18 0QP. Tel (0)1243 538 449

 

Ruin Lust at Tate Britain

9 April 2014 § Leave a comment

I’m not sure whether Phyllida Barlow’s Duveen commission dock (reviews by AKUTA here) was scheduled before Ruin Lust but on the surface this looks like an intelligent pairing of exhibitions. With Barlow’s wonderful, monumental constructions of industrial ‘debris’ filling the central parts of the building, an exhibition that looks at our fascination with the subject should be rich with possibilities. The words Ruin Lust, by the way, deriving from the German word Ruinenlust, an obsession with, or taking pleasure in, decay.

Ruin Lust Tate Britain

It all starts promisingly with John Martin’s magnificent Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum and  Jane and Louise Wilson’s imposing wartime bunker, Azeville. Not unexpectedly we then find plenty of 19th century romantic visions of classical ruins amongst idealised landscapes. We have John  Sell Cotman and JMW Turner’s wonderful Tintern Abbey for example.

Ruin Lust Tate Britain

Less expected are works from others like Eduardo Paolozzi, Patrick Caulfield and John Stezaker. Just how were these artists obsessed with decay? John Stezaker has exactly zero connection with the subject of this exhibition, his inclusion down to the fact that the featured works happened to collage a couple of old postcards of photogenic ruins on to his trademark film publicity photos, creating new meanings. And Paolozzi? Caulfield?

Ruin Lust Tate Britain stezaker_oath

Next comes Tacita Dean and Kodak. Less about ruin and decay this is more a self-reverential elegy to the medium of film and is only marginally relevant to the exhibitions subject.

Ruin Lust Tate Britain Paolozzi

At this point I have to admit I switched off for the remaining, less than attention-grabbing, four rooms. It was crystal clear that the curators were starting with a catchy title to then shoe-horn artworks with superficial relevance to then claim they were part of a greater whole.

Ruin Lust Tate Britain

Furthermore the choice of artists haphazard, the selection of work poor, many selected pieces downright dreadful and the hanging almost random. To rub salt in to the wound the accompanying exhibition book was equally low quality.

Ruin Lust Tate Britain

To me this was a shallow and poorly conceived exhibition with many mediocre works amongst a handful of interesting ones. I beg you not to waste £10 – see Phyllida Barlow and spend your hard-earned tenner in the cafe instead.

Ruin Lust is at Tate Britain until 18 May 2014.

 

beyond the human clay at james hyman

16 June 2011 § Leave a comment

Quick last-minute reminder! James Hyman’s latest exhibition is well worth catching before it closes on the 18 June. The exhibition marks the 35th (?!) anniversary of RB Kitaj‘s seminal ‘Beyond the Human Clay’. This championed the artists of the School of London and presented drawing as central to all their work – both abstract and figurative.

The current show features an important pop-art work by Kitaj – the Bells of Hell as well other School of London works that include a Leon Kossoff self-portrait, two nice Eduardo Paolozzi sculptures and a Francis Bacon edition. Presented alongside, and nicely complementing it, are much more recent works by contemporary artists which ‘attempt to grapple with the human condition.’ These include Jenny Savile, Peter Doig, Chris Ofili and the Chapman Broters.

A neat little show with a number of interesting works that recalls an important era in British art – and apologies for not giving you a little more warning!

Beyond the Human Clay,  until 18 June 2011 at James Hyman Fine Art, 5 Savile Row, London W1S 3PD

http://www.jameshymanfineart.com/

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