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Details
Barry Flanagan (1941-2009)
Acrobats
incised with the artist's monogram, foundry mark and numbered '2/5' (on the base)
bronze
174 1/4 x 65 x 49 in. (442.6 x 165.12 x 124.5 cm.)
Executed in 1997. This work is number two from an edition of five plus one artist's proof.
Provenance
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Literature
Barry Flanagan: Seeing Round Corners, exh. cat., Waddington Galleries, London, 2001, pp. 99 and 118, no. 101.
Exhibited
London, Waddington Galleries, Barry Flanagan, September- October 1998, pp. 18-19 and 52, no. 8.
County Kilkenny, Ireland, Kells Priory, Sculpture at Kells, August 1999, cat. no. 34 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
London, Tate Liverpool, Barry Flanagan, July–October 2000 (another example exhibited).
The Hague, Lange Voorhout, Europa in Beeld, Mythe & Realiteit: Den Haag Sculptuur 2002, 2002 (another example exhibited).
Norfolk, Narborough Hall, Barry Flanagan at Narborough, August–September 2003 (another example exhibited).
New York, Paul Kasmin Gallery, Barry Flanagan: Sculptures, February–March 2004 (another example exhibited).
Kunsthalle Würth, Henry Moore: Epoche und Echo: Englische Bildhauerei im 20. Jahrhundert, June- October 2005, pp. 213 and 267 (another example exhibited).
Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern art and Dublin City Art Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Barry Flanagan: Sculpture 1965-2005, June- September 2006, no. 217 (another example exhibited and illustrated in color).

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Eliza Netter
Eliza Netter

Lot Essay

"The great bronze hares which Barry Flanagan has been producing since the 1980s are one of the most personal and recognisable artistic endeavours of the second half of this century. Spectacular in size, bitingly ironic and bold, as well as terribly individualistic, they are totally unlike what we normally see in museums and galleries around the world" (E. Juncosa, exh. cat., Barry Flanagan, London, Waddington Galleries, 1994, p. 5). The motif of the hare clearly held great significance for the artist; it appeared repeatedly in Flanagan's work over a period of many years. When asked why it held such appeal, he said, "I find that the hare is a rich and expressive form that can carry the conventions of the cartoon and the attributes of the human into the animal world. So I use the hare as a vehicle to entertain, abstract from the human figure, choosing the hare to behave as a human occasionally" (B. Flanagan, quoted in E. Juncosa, Barry Flanagan Sculpture 1965-2005, Dublin, 2006, p. 65). Acrobats demonstrates why Flanagan was praised not only by critics and fellow artists, but also why he became a true people's artist. He created numerous and much beloved public sculptures that have been collected and exhibited all over the world, and his works are in the holdings of dozens of museums and corporate collections as well. The present work infuses creative passion with freshness and a unique sense of joie de vivre.

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