Five Art Funded sculptures

  • 20 February 2017

We've funded many sculptural works over the years. Here's five more recent pieces that we've helped the nation's museums and galleries acquire with our members' help.

 © The artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

 

1

Bluebutter Idles by Helen Marten

  • Arts Council Collection
  • Free entry to all

Winner of the Turner Prize in 2016, Helen Marten's work often shifts between two- and three-dimensional modes. This work [above] takes the form of a cradle but includes a variety of other organic and manmade objects, making it both familiar and yet oddly unsettling at the same time. It was acquired with our support in 2015.


2

The Wolsey Angels by Benedetto da Rovezzano

  • V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)
  • 50% off exhibitions with National Art Pass

In 1524 Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, chief advisor to King Henry VIII, commissioned the Florentine sculptor Benedetto da Rovezzano to create four bronze angels for his magnificent Renaissance tomb. Wolsey's fortunes were soon to suffer a rapid decline. He fell out of favour with the king and died in 1530, whereby his possessions were appropriated by Henry for his own use – angels and unfinished tomb included. Henry never got to occupy the tomb either, and eventually the angels were lost. They eventually turned up at auction in 1994, and attributed after the sale to Benedetto. They were acquired with our support in 2015.


3

Two Forms (Orkney) by Dame Barbara Hepworth

This late stone carving by the great British Modernist sculptor Barbara Hepworth has strong associations with the Pier Arts Centre. The gallery in Stromness, Orkney, was established in 1979 by Margaret Gardiner, a close friend and patron of Hepworth's, and the title of the work suggests that the artist had the romantic landscape of Gardiner's Orkney home in mind when she named it. It was acquired with our support in 2015.


4

Tree of Life by Rachel Whiteread

  • Whitechapel Gallery
  • 50% off exhibitions with National Art Pass

This was Rachel Whiteread's first permanent public commission in the UK and can be seen covering the sculptural facade on the Whitechapel Gallery in London. It features clusters of leaves, cast in bronze and plated in gold leaf, emblazoning the gallery's facade with shimmering foliage. The work was inspired by both the Tree of Life, an Arts and Crafts motif adorning the gallery's towers, and 'Hackney weed', the urban plants that grow on buildings in the area. It was funded in 2012.


5

The Campbell Sisters Dancing a Waltz by Lorenzo Bartolini

  • Scottish National Gallery
  • 50% off exhibitions with National Art Pass

Lady Charlotte Bury (née Campbell), youngest daughter of the 5th Duke of Argyll, probably commissioned this exquisite marble carving of the two youngest of her six daughters, Emma and Julia, from the fashionable Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini in about 1820.  Its naturalism, charm and technical virtuosity also make it exceptional within the broader context of 19th-century European sculpture. It was saved for the nation with our support in 2015.


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