City Sculpture Projects 1972
24 November 2016 – 19 February 2017
Free to all
A reimagining of the multi-city exhibition that placed sculptures in the busy urban centres of eight cities.
In the summer of 1972 Birmingham residents were stunned to see a ferocious, red-eyed gorilla looming over the city centre. This five-metre-high statue of King Kong was designed by Nicholas Monro as part of a nationwide initiative called City Sculpture Projects, intended to engage the urban public with contemporary sculpture in an unprecedented manner, off the plinth and out of the gallery.
The seminal open-air exhibition took place in eight regional cities and featured other renowned artists including Barry Flanagan, Lilian Lijn and William Turnbull. This winter, the Henry Moore Institute looks back at its impact, with many of the original works displayed alongside specially commissioned reproductions and a wealth of archival material.
This is the first time the controversial Kong will be on public display since its official unveiling over four decades ago (if you can discount its lengthy tenure as the mascot for a used car dealership). Now newly restored, it is casting a fresh menace in front of the gallery entrance.