Large Leaping Hare (Primary Title)
Barry Flanagan, Welsh, 1941 - 2009 (Artist)
"If you consider what conveys situation and meaning 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." Barry Flanagan
Flanagan's cavorting hare, a continuing subject he began making in the early 1980s, combines humor and sophistication with a poke in the ribs. Flanagan started his career in the 1960s by rejecting prevailing formalist tastes for welded-steel sculpture. He experimented instead with limp lengths of rope, unfinished wooden poles, and soft cloth forms filled with sand or plaster - informal, impermanent, organic anti-objects that tested the limits of sculpture.
Flanagan returned to traditional sculptural materials - stone in the 1970s and bronze in the early 1980s - but not to traditional practices. One of the first figures he made when he began casting in bronze, Flanagan's hare was a witty iconoclast effort to deflate avant-garde orthodoxy and academism. Gilding ennobles the slender leaping creature, as does his perch atop a Minimalist pyramid of crossed steel battens.
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