Geometry of Fear: at the Tate, the Disquiet of Post-War Sculpture

Geometry of Fear: at the Tate, the Disquiet of Post-War Sculpture
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“A geometry of fear” - that’s how critic Herbert Read defined the work of the young British artists at the Biennial of Venice in 1952. In the Pavilion of the United Kingdom, human and animal forms sculpted in corroded metal seemed to carry signs of incomprehensible torture, of damnation with no chance of salvation. In the wake of revolutionary masters like Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein, a new generation of sculptors was coming of age in the shadow of the Cold War: Lynn Chadwick, Elizabeth Frink, Eduardo Paolozzi, Bernard Meadows, Reg Butler fused their contorted and alienated figures with the soul of a new era. “The more innocent the artist, the more efficiently they manage to transmit the collective sense of guilt,” wrote Read. There were images of desperate flights, “ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas,” scraped flesh and sexual frustration. The exhibition at the Tate Britain brings attention back to this intense period in British art, comparing it with international art of the same period. It takes a close look at the emergence of a new uncompromising language, so immediate it seemed brutal, grafting an anxiety onto the avant-garde born out of a world divided in two after the Second World War. Not to be missed, the projects presented in 1953 for the monument of The Unknown Political Prisoner.
Francesca Grego - © 2018 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London