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Geometry of Fear Exhibition


Event Description

Reg Butler, Girl and Boy, 1951, iron, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
Reg Butler, Girl and Boy, 1951, iron, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London

Geometry of Fear

Works from the Arts Council Collection

A Hayward Touring exhibition

1 October – 16 November 2007

Peter SCOTTGALLERY, Lancaster University

Main Gallery

Bringing together fifteen sculptures and eight works on paper from the Arts Council Collection, Geometry of Fear explores the generation of sculptors that emerged in the post-war years, creating work in direct response to the horrors of the Holocaust and WW2, and in reaction to the climate of fear generated by the Cold War. The show takes its starting point from the ground-breaking exhibition at the British Pavilion in the 1952 Venice Biennale. It was here that art historian Herbert Read coined the term ‘Geometry of Fear’ to describe this emerging group: “These new images belong to the iconography of despair, or of defiance... The geometry of fear …their art is close to the nerves, nervous, wiry.” Geometry of Fear comes to Lancaster in October as part of the national tour.

As with the 1952 Venice exhibition, Geometry of Fear includes work by Lynn Chadwick, Geoffrey Clarke, Reg Butler, Kenneth Armitage, Bernard Meadows, Robert Adams, and Eduardo Paolozzi. Also like Venice, it includes a work by Henry Moore, highlighting the difference between the two generations. The young artists’ work was characterised by linear, spiky forms, made from welded metal and reflected many of the concerns and anxieties of the post-war era.

The exhibition includes key works of the period, such as Reg Butler’s Girl and Boy (1951), Eduardo Paolozzi’s The Cage (1951) and Kenneth Armitage’s Figure Lying on its Side (1957). The contemporary recognition and praise enjoyed by these artists was largely influenced by the skill with which they interpreted some of the anxieties of their time. In today’s uncertain climate, it is perhaps a timely moment to reconsider these works.

This exhibition is also supplemented by works on paper by sculptors represented in the

PeterScottGallery Collection at Lancaster University. Included in this display are works by Eduardo Chillida, Elisabeth Frink, Charles Hadcock, Barbara Hepworth, and William Turnbull.

EXHIBITION TALK: Ann Jones, Arts Council Collection

Ann Jones, Curator of the ‘Geometry of Fear’ exhibition, will give a talk about the exhibition at the Peter Scott Gallery on Tuesday 9 October at 1pm. For enquiries please call the gallery on 01524 593057.


1 October – 16 November 2007

Manton Room, Peter Scott Gallery

Alf Dunn: Sculptures and Artists’ Prints

Also on display at the Peter Scott Gallery from 1 October until 16 November, is an exhibition of work by Alf Dunn. Dunn studied at the Royal College of Art, where he later worked as a Senior Tutor. His work is represented in many collections including the Arts Council Collection, the Victoria and AlbertMuseum, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Peter Scott Gallery Collection. This exhibition shows a range of bronze and stone sculptures, alongside artists’ prints.


Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, LancasterUniversity, Lancaster, LA1 4YW

Please note, opening times for the exhibition period 1 October – 16 November 2007

are: Mon – Fri 11am - 4pm

Free Admission Tel: 01524 593057

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Tuesday 2 October 2007, 6-8.30pm - Private View

For further press information and images, please contact Lauren Humphries at the Peter Scott Gallery: E-mail Tel: 01524 592229

Event Location / Date

Start Date: 01/10/2007 09:00
Location: Peter Scott Gallery