Barry Flanagan's Hare on Pyramid is an essential work from the 1980s, the decade when Flanagan represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1982 and when he enjoyed perhaps his most prolific and successful period.
With a burst of joyous energy Flanagan's iconic hare leaps trough the air balanced on top of a sharply pointed pyramid. Playfulness and immediacy is given a striking sculptural form inviting the viewer to join in on the artist's celebration of nature, life and happiness.
Executed in bronze, this sculpture is also a sophisticated composition of slender elongated shapes, symmetry and elegant poise. For Flanagan, who has been a highly influential figure in British sculpture since the late 1960s, the 1980s is considered a mature period of his career. Having obtained a high degree of material skill and become confident and articulate in his artistic language, the artist here allows his creative spirits to run free and adds a sense of humor and whimsicality to an artistic tradition so often associated with monuments full of pathos and grandeur.
The iconic simplicity of the hare echoes prehistoric bronze figurines with their mysticism and hopes for magic powers. With a knowing nod to art history Flanagan contrasts the animal with a pyramid that borrows from the twentieth century's use of basic geometric shapes with their implied ideals of rationalism and utopias.
Hare on Pyramid demonstrates why Flanagan has not only gained praise from critics and fellow artists, but has become a true people's artist. He is the creator of numerous and much beloved public sculptures all over the world and the present work epitomises these, as it infuses age old sculptural tradition with freshness, creative passion and a unique sense of joie de vivre.