At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell

Henry Moore, ‘War: Possible Subjects’ (1940-41)
Henry Moore, ‘War: Possible Subjects’ (1940-41)

Sculpture was once strong on monuments and memorials. Now it’s a puzzle to know what to do with an empty plinth. To embellish a building (not just label it) hardly makes sense when walls are made of glass. In parks and open spaces new pieces, often not much liked, are vulnerable. A historical account of English sculpture, until it gets well into the 20th century, will deal mostly with makers of monuments, memorials, tombs, statues of the great, portrait busts and decoration for buildings. But thereafter the creators of public sculpture are no longer part of the mainstream, their work likely to be resented. The exceptions tend to be makers of large, simple pieces.

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