Research fellows 2010
Each year our fellowship programme enables artists and researchers to develop their work.
In 2010 our visiting fellows included Edward Juler, Tomas Macsotay, Kate Nichols, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Roberto C. Ferrari, Daniel Herrmann, Simon Starling, Gregor Stemmrich and additional research projects.
University of Edinburgh
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
‘Grown but not Made’: Experimental English Sculpture and the new biology, 1930-39
The high point in the shift from a figurative to an object-based mode of sculptural practice that has so preoccupied early expressions of artistic modernism was arguably witnessed in the decade of the 1930s. During these years the emergence of a distinctly modern tradition in sculpture was first made manifest in the dichotomy staged between the ‘modern’ as a pared-down and compacted mass, and as a simplified – though drastically decentred and/or fragmented – array of objects.
By drawing into question the autonomy of the object, the new sculpture paralleled conceptual revisions ongoing in the subject of biology – a discipline that had freshly queried the legitimacy of considering living-things as independent objects, putting forward the notion that organisms were ‘diagrams of forces’ that operated within a radically de-centred field of physical energies.
Edward Juler’s fellowship project investigates how experimental English sculpture of the 1930s registered the stimulus of the new biology in its conception of ‘multipart’ sculpture, direct carving and the form-function debate, respectively, by exploring the influence of popular science on interwar sculptural theory.
University of Leeds
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
State-Subsidised Jouneymen and Migrant Sculptors in Rome (1750-1780)
Thomas Mocsotay’s project focuses on British, German-speaking and Scandinavian artists that may include Johannes Wiedewelt, Joseph Nollekens, Thomas Banks, Alexander Trippel and Johann Tobias Sergel. His main concern is to look for the deeper strings attached to the phenomenon of journey men who establish active workshops far from home.
How did these artists fit into European standards of production? What did their workshop system take up from artisan and guild-organised production? To what degree do their practices conform to the standards provided by the academically trained court artist? Delving into some of the theoretical work on artisan culture in the eighteenth century, State-subsidised Journeymen seeks to integrate several of the tools developed by (cultural) historians, resulting in a novel take on primary source material relating to the Roman art world. It seeks to provide insight into basic attitudes towards ‘making’ and the sculptural object that account for the participation of sculptors in the tissue of eighteenth-century educated life.
University of Bristol
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
Mass audiences for classical sculpture
Kate Nichols’ project examines how ideas about Greek and Roman sculpture were communicated in three different settings: at the Crystal Palace in London, built to house the Great Exhibition of 1851; the reconstruction of the Parthenon built in Nashville for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition; and the Mostra Augustea della Romanita, the vast exhibition of casts of Roman sculpture mounted under Mussolini’s aegis in Rome in 1937. All three were aimed to appeal to mass audiences, with little or no knowledge of the ancient world.
Each chapter investigates a major theme arising from the display of ancient sculpture in these new contexts. These include debates over the morality of Greek and Roman statuary, the relationship between ancient sculpture and modern industry, issues surrounding the ‘appropriation’ of classical images, and ideas about ancient and modern democracy. What happens to the supposedly elite status of classical sculpture once it is already available to all? How does its status change when exhibited not alongside consumer goods and spectacular entertainments? And how has the display of sculpture in the past contributed to our understanding of it today?
University of California
Senior Research Fellowship
Crafting Dissent: Politics and Handmade Textiles in Contemporary Art
Many contemporary artists have taken up conventional textile techniques, not as a nostalgic return to the mark of the artist’s hand, but to make diverse and timely political statements. This book project examines how UK- and US-based artists in the last several decades use knitting, sewing, crocheting, and weaving to propose alternative economic and aesthetic models of making.
Drawing on the works of feminist, anti-war, and queer artists and activists, Crafting Dissent investigates how polemical textile work challenges traditional notions of craft as domestic, private, or aesthetically conservative.
Roberto C. Ferrari
New York University
John Gibson and Nineteenth-Century British Sculpture
Ferrari will be conducting research for his doctoral dissertation on John Gibson (1790-1886). His thesis will explore Gibson’s role in the history of British sculpture beyond that of sculptural polychromy, by examining for the first time themes such as queer subjectivity in his work and his studio practice and pupils.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Aluminium and its Material Semantics: The example of Alfred Gilbert’s Shaftesbury Monument
This project contributes towards a discourse history of materials in sculpture. Its respective case study is the Shaftesbury Monument (1892-93) by Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934) and its crowning aluminium cast of the personification of charitable love.
Herrmann’s project will trace and contextualise the formation of the different aesthetic discourses surrounding the extraordinary choice of material.
Project for a Public Sculpture: Hiroshima
The invitation to make an exhibition at the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011 is the impetus for this investigation into the problem of site specific practice, and specifically Henry Moore’s involvement in the realisation of a monument for Enrico Fermi’s first nuclear reactor at Chicago University.
This research aims to establish the full complexity of Moore’s relationship to Cold War politics, the beginnings of the anti-nuclear movement in Britain, and the events that lead to Moore’s Atom Piece being removed from public display in Hiroshima.
Free University of Berlin
Robert Morris’ HEARING (1972) put in perspective – concepts, contents, contexts, consequences
Robert Morris’ sculptural installation HEARING includes an audio recording of a fictitious hearing that is focused on the aesthetic, political, historical and moral views of a ‘witness’. The work is taken as a point of departure. Investigations relating to the various issues involved will take works of other artists into consideration.
Additional research projects
This year we supported several additional research projects, outside of our fellowship program:
Rob Crow (University of Gloucestershire) is continuing research into the writing of histories of early twentieth-century British photography and Walter Benington in particular.
Nancy Ireson (Courtauld Institute of Art) plans to develop a research project which aims to bring attention to Frampton through a small exhibition or display at the Henry Moore Institute, based around photographs held in its archive.
Alexandra Keiser (Archipenko Foundation) will be continuing her research of Archipenko’s part in the transatlantic cultural fabric that shaped modernism in the USA and of the mechanisms that defined success and failure in modern sculptural practice. This project is part of a broader research for her doctoral dissertation Alexander Archipenko in a network of cultural exchange: From European avant-gardes to and avant-gardism in the USA.
Linda Khatir (Bath School of Art & Design) will develop her research into British Constructivism/Systems Art by examining material held in the archives and collections of the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery. In particular, documents, images and artworks relating to prominent Constructivists who taught at Bath Academy of Art at Corsham Court in rural Wiltshire (now Bath School of Art & Design, Bath Spa University). These artists include: John Ernest, Malcolm Hughes and Michael Kidner, as well as Anthony Hill, Gillian Wise and others.
Amy Mackie (New Museum, New York) will pursue previous research on the life and work of Helen Chadwick with the hope of developing her plans to bring Chadwick’s work to an American museum.
Marin Sullivan (University of Michigan) proposes to continue her research which focuses on a succession of sculptural projects made by American, Italian, and German artists in Italy between 1962 and 1972. This centres on the premise that photography, often overlooked or dismissed as a mere documentary supplement, was a crucial component of the radical reformulation of sculpture taking place at this time.