Barry Flanagan Tate Britain exhibition banner
Barry Flanagan: Early Works 1965–1982
Tate Britain: Exhibition
27 September 2011 – 2 January 2012

 Barry Flanagan was one of Britain’s most original and inventive artists and a key figure in the development of British and international sculpture. He is best known for the large-scale bronze hare sculptures that he began producing in the early 1980s and that can be seen in many galleries and public spaces around the world. The success of these pieces has tended to obscure the equally important and very different work that characterised his early period. Made from materials as varied as cloth, plaster, sand, hessian and rope, these works highlight a concern with material properties and processes – a concern that is at the heart of his practice.

A contemporary of Gilbert & George, Flanagan studied sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art from 1964 to 1966. The exhibition takes this period as a starting point and reveals the impact of this early work on his later development towards casting in bronze, which he began in 1979. This is the first major retrospective of Flanagan’s work in London since 1983, and by focusing on his early works, shows how this radical and imaginative artist challenged the very nature of sculpture in his time.

The exuberant early works of the British sculptor Barry Flanagan are still a delight.
The Observer

This exhibition brassily shows off the pleasure-giving unruliness of his youth.
The Independent

Time and again, we see Flanagan bringing the best out of his unpromising materials, shedding new light on traditional sculptural concerns such as weight and matter, surface and space.
Evening Standard

Barry Flanagan installation shot with hare and dog sculptures

Top Image:
Double Bell 1980
Collection Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert, Paris
Opera Dog 1981
Plubronze Limited / courtesy Waddington Custot Galleries, London
Large Leaping Hare 1982
Plubronze Limited / courtesy Waddington Custot Galleries, London

Photo: Tate photography

Barry Flanagan installation shot with fabric sculptures

aaing j gni aa 1965
Tate
pile 1 ’68 1968
Plubronze Limited / courtesy Waddington Custot Galleries, London
pile 3 ’68 1968/1985

Photo: Tate photography