Bernard Meadows: Sculpture and Drawings

ISBN: 9780853316442
Artist(s): Bernard Meadows
Author(s): Alan Bowness
Format: hardback
Edition: First
Year published: 1995
Publisher: Lund Humphries
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 160
Illustrations: 32 colour and 120 b&w illustrations

Artist(s) Biographies:


1 available

This is the first major illustrated monograph to be published on British sculptor Bernard Meadows (b.1915), a key figure of post-war British sculpture.

Meadows first attracted international attention at the 1952 Venice Biennale when his work was exhibited in the British Pavilion alongside sculptures by Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Geoffrey Clarke, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull. In his catalogue introduction, Herbert Read coined the phrase ‘the geometry of fear’ – a particularly apposite description of Meadows’ sculpture. For Meadows has been obsessed in his work with the representation of fear, first with frightened birds, and then with frightening armed figures. It is only in the later part of his long career, in the works of the late 1970s and early 1980s, that the mood changes, and a more sensuous, erotic element invades the sculptures and drawings.

During the 1950s, Meadows explored the formal possibilities of animal forms as vehicles for human emotions – in particular, cocks and crabs. The crab motif was inspired by Meadows’ war-time service on the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, where he had spent long hours observing crab behaviour. Meadows’ appropriation of animal forms was his way of finding his own voice as a sculptor, and escaping the overwhelming early influence of Henry Moore, for whom he had worked as studio assistant in 1936–9 and 1946–8, and with whom he was to develop a close working relationship.

This volume reproduces as full-page colour and black-and-white plates the major pieces of sculpture and related drawings. It also includes a complete catalogue of sculpture; lists of exhibitions, public collections and public commissions; and introductory essays by Alan Bowness and Penelope Curtis. Fine copy


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