The practice of Birmingham-based artist Lesley Whitehead attempts to make direct engagement with artworks from the past through ‘respectful repetition’ in order to bring them into the present and so move forward. These repetitions are attempting a re-materialisation of the de-materialised autonomous art object of modernism that began in the 1960s in movements such as minimalism and conceptualism.
Abandoning any notion of originality of form, the concept of such work relies upon a re-visiting through archival and visual research alongside empathetic re-construction of original artwork as a historical primary source. The realisation of the sculptures or objects she makes become another contemporary art historical event significantly related to and because of the past.
Art’s involvement with its history is nothing new but historically it was the engine of creating new art. In taking modernism as her subject she aims to make a new and contemporary art form. To this end she exploits novel and ubiquitous materials, like those found in any DIY store and at the same time traditional sculptural materials such as bronze and welded metals.
Lesley Whitehead has an editioned sculpture for sale. Her series of bronze maquettes contrast in scale and material with her monumental Celotex ‘repetition’ of Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture, Four Square (Walk Through). Together the two pieces intend to create a dialogue between the acquisition of monumental installation art by the public gallery and the interests of the individual private art collector.
‘After ‘Four Square (Walk Through)’ 1966 Barbara Hepworth (2014)
2nd edition, series of 6
H 20cm x 11cm x 11cm
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