United Enemies

The Problem of Sculpture in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s
Institute exhibition
1st December 2011 - 11th March 2012
Galleries 1, 2 and 3

Installation view of Gallery 2

Photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones

'Escape the blustery winds of winter or thoughts of recession … fun, often witty and nearly always refreshing.' (The Independent 09/01/12)

'Edible pyramids, rural walks, posing pop stars: how British sculpture went wild in the 1960s.' (Financial Times 09/01/12)

United Enemies looks at sculpture made by artists in Britain during the 1960s and 1970s, a time when the idea of sculpture was being radically contested.

United Enemies examines the problem of sculpture in the 1960s and 1970s, presenting work by over fifty artists made in a period when the very idea of sculpture was radically contested. Cutting across practices, institutions, publications and exhibitions, the exhibition begins with Roelof Louw’s 'Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges)' (1967): a work containing over 6,000 oranges painstakingly composed in order to be physically participated in and enjoyed – the pyramid depletes as visitors help themselves to oranges.

Three provocations organise this exhibition: 'Manual Thinking', 'Standing' and 'Groundwork'. From Keith Arnatt’s 'Art as an Act of Retraction' (1972) showing the artist eating each of the words of the sentence 'Eleven portraits of the artist about to eat his own words', to McLean's photographic work 'People Who Make Art in Glass Houses' (1969) where the artist is pictured surrounded by the debris of his own work, through to the photographic album 'An English Frontier' (1972) documenting a walk conducted by Richard Long in the company of Tony Cragg, Roger Ackling, Jim Rogers and Bill Woodrow, United Enemies demonstrates how this highly fertile and experimental period formed the ground from which contemporary sculpture has grown.

Complete List of Exhibited Artists:

Ivor Abrahams, Keith Arnatt, Clive Barker, Phyllida Barlow, Boyle Family, Stuart Brisley, Laurence Burt, Shirley Cameron, Anthony Caro, Angela Carter, Brian Catling, Helen Chadwick, John Cobb, Tony Cragg, Hubert Dalwood, John Davies, Paul de Monchaux, David Dye, John Ernest, Garth Evans, Barry Flanagan, Gilbert and George, Katherine Gili, Ed Herring, Peter Hide, John Hilliard, Roy Kitchin, Bruce Lacey, John Latham, Liliane Lijn, Richard Long, Roelof Louw, Jeff Lowe, Michael Lyons, Barry Martin, Leonard McComb, Bruce McLean, Roland Miller, Keith Milow, Martin Naylor, Paul Neagu, John Panting, Roland Piché, Carl Plackman, Nicholas Pope, Colin Self, Mathies Schwarze, Peter Startup, Wendy Taylor, William Tucker, Stephen Willats, Bill Woodrow.

The relationship between sculpture and performance continues in our smaller Gallery 4, where we are staging Nice Style: The World's First Pose Band, which runs from 14 December onwards. This exhibition presents photographs, drawings, posters, and cards relating to a collaborative London-based performance group set up in 1971 by Ron Carr, Gary Chitty, Robin Fletcher, Bruce McLean and Paul Richards.

Further information