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Barry Flanagan FORM IN A STORM NO.1
Lot 18
Price Realised: €7,000
Estimate: €8,000 - €12,000
Barry Flanagan OBE, RA, 1941-2009 FORM IN A STORM NO.1 (2002) Bronze (unique) with circular base, 8 1/2" x 6" (22 x 15cm), signed and dated 2002. Provenance: Waddington Custot, Mayfair, London; Private Collection, Califiornia; Private C... Read more
Barry Flanagan OBE, RA, 1941-2009 FORM IN A STORM NO.1 (2002) Bronze (unique) with circular base, 8 1/2" x 6" (22 x 15cm), signed and dated 2002. Provenance: Waddington Custot, Mayfair, London; Private Collection, Califiornia; Private Collection, United Kingdom. Born in Wales, Flanagan lived in London and, later, in Dublin, becoming an Irish citizen. In this country many people formed an affectionate attachment to his work when in 2006 ten of his famous hare sculptures were temporarily installed along Dublin's O'Connell Street. He's known all over the world for his large dancing hares, like the one at the entrance to IMMA, and another outside AIB on Serpentine Avenue. They all take on human qualities, celebrating a sense of exuberance and fun in the human spirit. Flanagan approach is playful and irreverent, without a trace of pomposity or pretension. I recall first seeing Flanagan's work in 1980, when he was invited to exhibit his 'rope drawings' in ROSC. A precursor of what was to follow over two decades later in pieces like Form in a Storm, these ropes were abstract drawings in space. Visually, Flanagan has always thought in linear terms, in the same way, perhaps, that 'lines' underpin the paintings of artists like Daumier or Toulouse Lautrec. In a Flanagan sculpture, the linear movement of a piece, rather than volume, is the main conveyer of emotion. It's not surprising that he's a wonderful draughtsman. Form in a Storm was included in the artist's first exhibition of what he called 'linear sculpture', 3-dimensional drawings in bronze. Even with his large-scale pieces, the emotional key can be traced to early stages, when Flanagan bends and shapes the internal linear armature that will form the sculpture's core. That kind of thinking is made visible in linear sculptures like this one. You can easily imagine the artist spontaneously playing with the material as he twists, knots and bends it in space. Form in a Storm has a deliberately ambiguous title: is the 'form' a hare, an insect, a tree? Flanagan was interested in the commonality of forms in nature, some organic impulse or life-force that is also shared with humans. One catches teasing glimpses of a bounding hare, momentarily transformed into a tree that's buffeted against the wind.  One can see in the leaping, dancing upward thrust of Form in a Storm an optimistic buoyancy that is a common thread in his work. Dr Frances Ruane HRHA
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