Barry Flanagan

pile 3 ‘68

1968, reconstructed 1985

Not on display

Barry Flanagan 1941–2009
Object: 318 × 521 × 483 mm
Purchased 1973

Catalogue entry

Barry Flanagan 1941–2009
pile 3 ‘68
Five pieces of dyed hessian, each folded, stitched and inscribed on the underside
318 x 521 x 483 mm
Inscribed with the title of the work, the signature of the artist and positions as given below.
Purchased from the Rowan Gallery, London (Grant–in–Aid) 1973

Exhibition history:
1973     From Henry Moore to Gilbert & George, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, September–November 1973

1973     From Henry Moore to Gilbert & George, exhibition catalogue, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels 1973, p.119.

All three sculptures in Flanagan’s series of ‘piles’ have the same type of material and structure but differ in detail. In Pile 1 1967–8 and Pile 2 there are four pieces of hessian in each sculpture. In pile 3 ’68, each piece of hessian, which Flanagan bought already dyed, was stitched by the artist so that it should remain in the exact folded shape he had determined. Each piece is inscribed on the underside with the title of the work, the signature ‘flanagan’, and a ‘V’ mark which points to the front of the pile as it is to be viewed by the spectator. Each underside is also inscribed with a number enclosed in a circle, denoting its position in the pile, from ‘1’ for the lowest piece (which is also inscribed ‘bottom’) and ‘5’ for the top one (which is also inscribed ‘top’). From bottom to top, the pieces are stacked in the following colour order: gingery cinnamon; pinky cinnamon; pink; olive green; turquoise.

Flanagan intended that when installed in a domestic or studio situation, pile 3’ 68 should be shown on a shelf, table or ordinary working surface. When shown in a museum or gallery it should be placed on a pedestal measuring 36 x 24 x 24 inches, one edge of which should be placed against a wall. The pieces of hessian should be stacked in the correct order with the ‘elbow’ or fold of each piece either aligned with the front of the pedestal or slightly overlapping it. The pieces of hessian are of slightly differing widths, but when stacked each of the five should be placed centrally in relation to the front edge of the pedestal.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1972–4: Biennial Report and illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1975, p.134.

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