Category Archives: bronze

Halifax sculpture: John Greer’s “Origins”

Located in downtown Halifax Nova Scotia, outside the NS Art Gallery: “Origins” (1995).  What a pleasant surprise! Tucked around the corner, just outside the NSAG entrance. More info is available here:




NIMBY Henry Moore! Columbia University students create petition to protest bronze sculpture

Apparently, NYC students feel that the reclining abstract sculpture by Henry Moore will not fit with the architectural surroundings in front of their university library. (Too edgy for their undergrad tastebuds…)

!..wait, there’s more (idiocy)..

It seems the protesters think all sculptures should resemble this nice but “ho hum” Classical maiden on a throne… 


…instead of Moore’s abstract bronze masterpiece below

Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas: UNESCO World Heritage site

It’s not everyday you think about visiting Venezuela…but should you go…here’s one stop to consider

L’esculpture de Picasso, chez MOMA

Whistleblowers as heroes: Public Art Project

Snowden, Manning & Assange…

“All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing” – Sir Edmund Burke

Well, these 3 chose to do SOMETHING…(and were willing to pay the price on our behalf)

So it seems, Barbara Hepworth built a lovely sculpture studio and outdoor garden in St Ives, Cornwall. A bit like steak with salad. Scrumptious!

This short video, by the UK’s Tate Modern Gallery, gives a flavour of the place, by interviewing the late Dame Hepworth and showing some of her excellent modern bronzes. She died too soon, in a tragic fire at her studio. My favorite pieces are her large holey sculptures with cords, which resemble fantastic stringed instruments 🙂



Art snob, me.

“Art is in the eye of the beholder” is a cop out. There, I’ve said it. I believe that not all art is equally good, and that artworks can be (roughly) ranked in order of their goodness and artistic value. Does this sound elitist or snobbish? Perhaps. I am not suggesting that I am fully qualified for this expert ranking, but rather I am appealing for some expert artistic judgement in the use of public funds for building art and sculpture in public places.

Would “elitism” be decried in other fields, such as science and law? Surely not. I believe there is scope for expert judgement concerning art as well.

And what exactly is the problem? Well, I believe there is a trend towards more “politically correct” and “understandable” art, which has translated into more realism and less abstraction. In this photographic digital era, with a preoccupation about megapixel clarity, there is also a populist appeal for realistic images which are easily decoded by the largely art-ignorant public. This has created a bloom of “charm bracelet” art in the form of over-large puppies and other cutesy unicorn-in-formaldehyde sculpture. (Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst are the most egregious examples).

Ensuring Regional representation, rather than artistic excellence, has also led to a downgrade in the quality of art in public places. For instance, the National Gallery of Canada recently installed a string of 2D metal horse sculptures outside its front entrance. These were done by an artist from Western Canada (where the current Prime Minister’s party is from). These cut-out horses have very little artistic merit IMO, and are the latest example of charm-bracelet art. IMO the public funds for this installation would have been better spent on a more thought-provoking sculpture by Richard Serra, Henry Moore, or Eduardo Chillida (The NGC still does not not have any sculptures on display by these modern masters, but it is very proud of the giant Bourgeois spider outside the main entrance).


Famous Henry Moore sculpture is famously restored

After living right outside the British House of Lords for over 45 years, the large bronze called Knife-Edge Two-Piece was inevitably covered in filth and decay. In early 2013 it received a thorough cleaning and restoration, at a cost of over £16,000. This included an extra £5 for the wax job 😉

The next time you visit London, you will be able to see this sculpture gleaming in its original 1967 condition (it is located on Abington Street Gardens).

(Here is the BEFORE picture…)


The Chillida museum in Spain is closing…please make your way to the nearest Florida golf course.

Chillida Leku — the art gallery estate created by the late great sculptor Eduardo Chillida in San Sebastian Spain has fallen on hard times and has recently closed.  Sotheby’s has taken a dozen of the large sculptures to a Florida golf course, where some of these monumental works will be offered for sale.  Sad.  RIP Eduardo.

Here is a lovely musical video of Chillida Leku

See the excellent VIDEO by Sotheby’s showing off these beautiful pieces…

(8 Jan 2011) HERNANI. Sculptures by Eduardo Chillida housed at the eponymous open-air museum in the Basque country—set to close this month owing to a financial deficit—will not be sold, said a representative of the institution. Over 40 sculptures by the Spanish artist, who died in 2002, are dotted around the Museo Chillida-Leku, the 12-hectare, hillside museum located in the town of Hernani near San Sebastian in northern Spain. “The works at Museo Chillida-Leku will remain here as they are part of Eduardo Chillida’s legacy,” said Itziar Iraola, a member of the museum’s marketing department.

Chillida and his wife, Pilar Belzunce, first bought part of the museum estate in 1984, converting a former farmhouse into a store for his works. The artist then developed the area into a sculpture garden, opening his own museum in 2000 which has since attracted over 800,000 visitors. “One day I dreamt of a utopia: finding a space where my sculptures could rest and where people could walk among them as if walking through the woods,” said Chillida, whose museum has won awards for its excellence.

According to its website, the museum has been “funded exclusively by family assets” without regional government support. But the venue has been hit hard by the economic downturn with the museum facing a £500,000 shortfall in the past two years. Gonzalo Calderón, Chillida’s son-in-law who manages the artist’s estate, told our sister paper Le Journal des Arts: “In 2008, we lost our main private sponsors, who brought in €250,000. We got help at the time from the local authorities [in San Sebastian] and hoped that this would continue into 2009 and 2010, but that wasn’t the case.”

He added: “In November they [the authorities] let us know that they couldn’t make up the deficit. It is no longer possible for us to continue.” Iraola stressed that, as we went to press, the Chillida family is negotiating with the Basque government to try and reach an agreement over future funding. But press reports state that the family fears it may lose control of the Museo Chillida-Leku if the culture ministry of the Basque region steps in. The Basque culture ministry, which has assisted with the museum’s marketing, declined to comment.

So is any aspect of the museum under threat? Iraola declined to comment on whether the Eduardo Chillida-Pilar Belzunce Foundation, the organisation behind the museum, would sell any part of the museum site. The organisation is nonetheless offering 12 large-scale later sculptures for sale through Sotheby’s (priced from $2m to $8m) which are on show at Florida’s Isleworth golf club until April. However, the museum insists this isn’t a case of cause and effect: “The sale was decided last September, before we had decided to close,” said Calderón. “It’s an opportunity to show exceptional pieces in the US. But we’re not expecting to sell all 12 works, just three or four.”

Chillida Still Lives…in Helsinki

Here is a link to a great sculpture in free public space in downtown Helsinki.  For tourists lucky enough to be visiting Helsinki, there is also a great little tapas restaurant there too…

Chillida in Helsinki