Modern British Sculpture

30 March 2011

Yesterday, we went to the Royal Academy to see the Modern British Sculpture exhibition. Or, as it should have been called, the "Modern" "British" "Sculpture" exhibition, with liberal use of ironic quotation marks.

It wasn't that "Modern": The exhibits included Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek sculptures, borrowed from the British Museum).

It wasn't that "British": As well as the Egyptian and Greek works, the exhibits included work by Carl Andre (American) and Jeff Koons (American).

And whether it was "Sculpture" depends on how you define sculpture: There were two Ben Nicholson reliefs (on the wall); a collection of "Page 3" pages from The Sun, also stuck on the wall; and a "recreation of a visitors' bench from an Caro exhibition", on which we were allowed to sit.

And I haven't even mentioned the Damien Hirst flies, or the pile of Malteser chocolates in little plastic bags. Or the blatant omission of anything by Antony Gormley or Anish Kapoor.

There was something in the little Weston Room which I can't even comment on because you had to look straight into a blinding spotlight.

Image (C) Copyright Royal Academy.

Fortunately, I think the word about how bad this exhibition was has got round; it was almost deserted of visitors.

I did quite like the Victor Pasmore installation though, probably because I'd just seen some inspiring Pasmore prints at Tate Modern.

Image (C) Copyright Royal Academy.

The exhibition continues until 7 April. Don't rush.