BARRY FLANAGAN, R.A. (1941-2009)
BARRY FLANAGAN, R.A. (1941-2009)
BARRY FLANAGAN, R.A. (1941-2009)
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BARRY FLANAGAN, R.A. (1941-2009)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION
BARRY FLANAGAN, R.A. (1941-2009)

Six Foot Leaping Hare on Steel Pyramid

Details
BARRY FLANAGAN, R.A. (1941-2009)
Six Foot Leaping Hare on Steel Pyramid
bronze with a black patina and steel
98 ½ in. (250.2 cm.) high
Conceived in 1990 and cast by A&A Sculpture Casting, London, in 1991.
This cast is number 7 from an edition of 8, plus 3 artist's casts.
Provenance
with Pace Gallery, New York, where purchased by the present owner in May 1994.
Literature
G.S. Block, Animalia: Stellvertreter, Berlin, 1990, p. 51, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Millfield British 20th Century Sculpture Exhibition, Somerset, Millfield School, 1992, p. 13, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, The Names of the Hare: Large Bronzes by Barry Flanagan, 1983-1990, West Bretton, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 1992, p. 1, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan: Recent Sculpture, New York, Pace Gallery, 1994, p. 7, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan, London, Waddington Galleries, 1994, pp. 16-17, 57, no. 4, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan, London, Waddington Galleries, 2003, p. 21, another cast illustrated.
E. Juncosa (ed.), exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan Sculpture: 1965-2005, Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2006, pp. 201, 210, exhibition not numbered, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Beyond Limits: Chatsworth House, Chesterfield, Chatsworth House, Sotheby's, 2012, pp. 58-65, 110, 140, exhibition not numbered, another cast illustrated.
C. Preston (ed.), Barry Flanagan, London, 2017, pp. 201, 283, no. 69, another cast illustrated.
Exhibited
Berlin, Haus am Waldsee, Animalia: Stellvertreter, September - November 1990, another cast exhibited.
London, Business Design Centre, Waddington Galleries, Art '92, January 1992, another cast exhibited.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Dessert, Barry Flanagan, May - June 1992, another cast exhibited.
Somerset, Millfield School, Millfield British 20th Century Sculpture Exhibition, June - July 1992, another cast exhibited.
West Bretton, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Names of the Hare: Large Bronzes by Barry Flanagan, 1983-1990, June - August 1992, another cast exhibited.
New York, Pace Gallery, Barry Flanagan: Recent Sculpture, April - June 1994.
Winterslow, Roche Court Sculpture Garden, Twentieth Century British Sculpture, April - September 1994, another cast exhibited.
London, Waddington Galleries, Barry Flanagan, October - November 1994, no. 4, another cast exhibited: this exhibition travelled to Dublin, RHA Gallagher Gallery, February - March 1995.
New York, 54th to 59th Street, Barry Flanagan on Park Avenue, September 1995 - January 1996, another cast exhibited.
Chicago, Grant Park, Barry Flanagan: Sculpture in Grant Park, May - September 1996, another cast exhibited.
Cambridge, Jesus College, Remembering Flanagan, June - September 2011, another cast exhibited.
Chesterfield, Chatsworth House, Beyond Limits: Chatsworth House, September - October 2012, exhibition not numbered, 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. This lot will be removed to our storage facility at Momart. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Momart. All collections from Momart will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Angus Granlund
Angus Granlund Director, Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

“This little beast, fast and fleeting, active in the spring, standing upright for only a second or two, can carry much of Flanagan’s purposes. It is the consummation of the vein of humour in his art. But it also has serious artistic purposes as a vehicle for formal variations. I think it would be wrong not to recognise that there are numerous forms and attitudes taken by the hare that repeat a kind of classic modern figure sculpture.” - (T. Hilton, ‘Less a slave of other people’s thinking’, in exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan Sculpture, British Arts Council, Venice Biennale, 1982, p. 14)

The success of Flanagan’s work lies within its dichotomy, marrying whimsical humour and playfulness with the careful calculation and balance of form. This is evident in Six Foot Leaping Hare on Steel Pyramid, 1990, which stands impressively tall, its pyramidal base imbuing a sense of the monumental. The present work displays Flanagan’s iconic and most celebrated motif – the hare, which was introduced into his work from 1979. Here his beast majestically leaps out into the void, its limbs outstretched in a joyous and exuberant pose, grounded only by the stacked pyramidal steel base, on which it sits. Flanagan strikingly juxtaposes form and material – the geometrically composed base, built of layers of horizontal steel rods, dramatically contrasting with the sinuous and organic form of the bronze hare.

Motion and immediacy are tantamount, as Flanagan’s hare attempts to bound free. Flanagan seamlessly captures the elusive nature of the hare, portraying its characteristically swift and rapid response, which often outmanoeuvres and bests its predators. Its bid for freedom is marred, however, by the gravitational pull of its base, whose tip only just touches its stomach, preventing the hare from leaping away. This struggle between liberty and restraint creates a powerfully visceral tension which resonates throughout the work.

Flanagan, a member of the Royal Zoological Society of London since 1976, had a keen interest in animals from an early age, often depicting dogs, ducks and geese in his early sketches. It was not until 1979, however, with the introduction of the hare motif and Flanagan’s exploration of bronze casting, that they became an indominable and central part of his oeuvre. The origin of his inspiration for the hare has been variously recorded, with academics citing a host of potential sources from Joan Miró and Albrecht Dürer to Yves Klein, who’s famous photograph has been linked with his Leaping Hare works. Didier Semin contests, ‘The Leaping Hare was a new departure for him, a sort of leap into the void – and the posture of the leaping animal can’t help but evoke Yves Klein launching out into the open air in 1960 in front of Harry Shunk’s and John Kender’s cameras’ (D. Semin, Barry Flanagan Solutions imaginaires, Paris, 2019, pp. 81-82).

In literature George Ewart Evans and David Thompson published their seminal book The Leaping Hare, 1972, which was a known source of inspiration to Flanagan. Indeed, the hare had been a potent symbol internationally throughout history, adopting a host of symbolic and mythological attributes over the centuries. Lewis Biggs explains, ‘The most consistent and pervasive meaning invested in the hare is its association with ‘life’ itself, whether by the Egyptians (the hieroglyph for hare means ‘existence’), the Chinese (whose hare visits the moon to look for the herb of immortality), or in our North Mediterranean cultures, in which it was connected to the gods of Hermes and Mercury, and eventually to resurrection and Christ’ (L. Biggs, ‘Introducing the Circus’, in exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan Visual Invitation, Sculpture 1967-1987, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Laing Art Gallery, 1987, pp. 46-49)

Flanagan, although drawn to the rich history of the hare and its transcultural symbolic implications, was not bound by it. Instead, he used it as a surrogate figure for human expression and a vehicle to express universal truths. Tim Hilton explains, ‘the hare is used to make a connection between the particular and the numinous. It can be thought of as personal, or a person; or as a symbol for a person; or as a symbol for some universal principle’ (T. Hilton, ‘Less a slave of other people’s thinking’, in exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan Sculpture, British Arts Council, Venice Biennale, 1982, p. 14).

This is surmised by Flanagan: ‘Thematically the choice of the hare is quite a rich and expressive sort of model; the conventions of the cartoon and the investment of human attributes to the animal world is a very well-practiced device, in literature and film etc., and is really quite poignant. And on a practical level, if you consider what conveys situation and meaning in and feeling in a human figure, the range of expression is in fact far more limited than the device of investing an animal – a hare especially – with the expressive attributes of a human being. The ears for instance, are really able to convey far more than the squint in an eye of a figure, or a grimace on the face of a model’ (B. Flanagan, quoted in exhibition catalogue, Barry Flanagan A Visual Invitation, Sculpture 1967-1987, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Laing Art Gallery, 1987, p. 49).

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