Making It: Sculpture in Britain 1977–86
Rare overview of influential 20th century British sculptors
Just when British art seemed to be setting a course which was almost entirely conceptual, a new generation of artists emerged who were intent on making things. But the sculptors who came to prominence in the late 1970s and the early 1980s – among them Antony Gormley, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker and Phyllida Barlow – had a new outlook. They made things, but also embraced found objects. They worked with elements like colour and humour, taking on the influences of conceptual art and other movements such as Pop Art, but found a language of their own.
Making It, a touring show featuring 40 artists from this period, allows a rare chance to celebrate this moment in British art. The works in the Arts Council collection are augmented by loans from galleries, including Tony Cragg’s iconic wall-based plastic assemblage, ‘Postcard (Union Jack)’, and Julian Opie’s ‘Making It’, from which the show takes its name. Many of those featured, such as Eduardo Paolozzi and Michael Craig-Martin, have gone on to be important influences on the next generation. This exhibition affords a rare chance to see them side by side with their peers.
City Art Centre, Edinburgh, Sat 7 May–Sun 3 July .