Audio: Barry Flanagan Lot 28
Barry Flanagan (1941-2009)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Barry Flanagan (1941-2009)

Leaping Hare on Curly Bell

Barry Flanagan (1941-2009)
Leaping Hare on Curly Bell
signed with an initial, inscribed and stamped with foundry mark 'A LONdON f A/P' (on the top of the base)
bronze with a black patina
94 ¼ in. (239.5 cm.) high
Conceived in 1989 and cast in an edition of 7 plus 3 artist's casts. This work is number AC 1.
with Waddington Galleries, London, where purchased by the present owner.
Exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan, London, Waddington Galleries, 1990, p.p. 10-11, 39, no. 4, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan, New York, The Pace Gallery, 1990, n.p., no. 4, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Art '92, London, Business Design Centre, 1992, p. 60, not numbered, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, The Names of the Hare – Large Bronzes by Barry Flanagan: 1983-1990, Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 1992, another cast illustrated, catalogue not traced.
M. Glimcher (ed.), Adventures in Art 40 Years at Pace, Milan, 2001, pp. 400-401, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Beyond Limits, Chatsworth House, 2012, no. 6, another cast exhibited.
London, Waddington Galleries, Barry Flanagan, May - June 1990, no. 4, another cast exhibited.
New York, The Pace Gallery, Barry Flanagan, September - October 1990, no. 4, another cast exhibited.
London, Business Design Centre, Art '92, January 1992, another cast exhibited.
Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Names of the Hare – Large Bronzes by Barry Flanagan: 1983-1990, June - August 1992, another cast exhibited.
Chatsworth House, Beyond Limits, September - October 2012, no. 6, another cast exhibited.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Anne Haasjes
Anne Haasjes

Lot Essay

Barry Flanagan's Leaping Hare on Curly Bell is one of the artist's celebrated works, part of a remarkable career that saw him move through a range of styles, from the post-minimal sculpture that he focused on in the 1960s, moving toward the figurative style we see here. With a burst of joyous energy, Flanagan's iconic hare leaps through the air, balanced elegantly on the lip of a curled open bell. Playfulness and immediacy are given striking sculptural form, inviting the viewer to join the artist in his celebration of nature, life and happiness.

Executed in bronze, Leaping Hare on Curly Bell is a sophisticated composition that merges slender elongated shapes with the elegant curved form and vital, exuberant energy of the hare. Flanagan was a highly influential sculptor for nearly five decades from the late 1960s onwards. Achieving an exceptional degree of material skill, confidence and eloquence in his artistic language, the artist here allows his creative spirit to run free, and adds a welcome and wonderful sense of humour and whimsicality to the medium of bronze figurative sculpture, a traditional medium with great historical associations.

The iconic simplicity of the hare echoes prehistoric bronze figurines, with their mysticism and appeal to magic powers believed to be contained within the image of the figure. But the form of the hare has personal associations for the artist, as well. Flanagan began creating sculptures of hares in the late 1970s, in part because of a memory he recalled vividly of seeing a hare running across the Sussex Downs. Through his sculptures he communicates that memory, conveying the animal's boundless energy, fluidity and humour. Always active, suggesting speed, lightness and grace whilst at the same time filled with good humour, the leaping hare has become a leitmotiv of Flanagan's work. Whether 19 or 90 inches high, increasingly anthropomorphic, they wrestle, box and dance. Here, Flanagan contrasts the supple lines of the animal in motion with the stillness and stolidity of a bell base. The hare sculptures are one set of a larger body of sculptures based on animal forms that Flanagan created over his career. All of these works, and in particular the hare sculptures, expressed his interest in merging the commonplace, the imaginary and the fantastic, and drew from the ancient, mythic, archetypal meanings the various animal forms have held for human beings. Flanagan became fascinated with how the medium of bronze has been used to model animal figures, to convey their physicality, to be sure, but also their aura. He studied ancient bronze sculptures of animals, and was inspired both by the technical skill their sculptors possessed, but also how these works expressed man's eternal fascination with animals.

Flanagan's hares made one of their first public appearances when he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1982 and subsequently exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. The Biennale exhibition included, amongst others, Hare and Bell; Leaping Hare; and Cricketer, all conceived in 1981. When asked why the hare 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).

Leaping Hare on Curly Bell 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.

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