Barry Flanagan

sand muslin 2

1966

Medium
Sand and muslin
Dimensions
Object: 181 x 302 x 302 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Transferred from the Victoria & Albert Museum 1983
Reference
T03725

Display caption

Flanagan was one of the most significant and inventive British sculptors of his generation. First emerging in the mid-1960s, Flanagan’s work was highly innovative and departed from the sculptural practice of his tutors, most notably in his choice of ‘un-sculptural’ materials. He filled pre-stitched cloth ‘skins’, often with sand and wet plaster, to produce bulging, organic forms. As Flanagan explains:
‘I liked the idea that the shapes virtually made themselves.’ He maintained a consistently ironic attitude towards sculpture, emphasising how intrinsic qualities of the materials and making process determined the final shape and appearance

Gallery label, September 2016

Catalogue entry

T03725 SAND MUSLIN 2 1966

Two muslin bags filled with sand, dimensions variable, width about 12 (305)
Not inscribed
Transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum 1983
Prov: Purchased by David Sylvester for the Contemporary Art Society; given by the Society to the Department of Circulation, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1972 (Circ. 38 and 38a-1972)
Exh: Contemporary Art Society. An exhibition of works shortly to be presented to public art galleries in Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Gulbenkian Hall, Royal College of Art, October 1971 (111); Barry Flanagan, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, June–July 1977, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, July–August 1977, Serpentine Gallery, November 1978–January 1979 (not numbered)
Lit: Catherine Lampert, ‘Notes on Barry Flanagan’, exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 1977, n.p.

The sculpture ‘Sand Muslin’ belongs to the Arts Council of Great Britain, and was reproduced as the frontispiece in the Van Abbemuseum catalogue (1977).

Flanagan left St Martin's School of Art in 1966. The catalogue of his exhibition at the Rowan Gallery in August 1966 lists one work made of sand, ‘ring n’, a heap of sand with the top removed. Catherine Lampert (loc.cit.) associates his sand filled bags with the process of casting.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

Audio

sand muslin 2 by Barry Flanagan

Artist Peter Randel Page on how Flanagan explored different materials

Explore