Mundane Monumental: The Everyday in Modern British Sculpture

10 February - 5 March 2011

Coinciding with the Royal Academy's major exhibition of British Sculpture, James Hyman Fine Art presents a focused exhibition exploring the way in which certain British sculptors have used their domestic circumstances and local neighbourhood as the starting point for their work. Following a history of sculpture in which the subjects were 'important' (mythology, religion, rulers ), the presentation lofty (plinths and public places) and the materials precious (marble, stone, bronze), one of the great achievements of twentieth century and of British sculpture, in particular, has been the way that it has freed itself from the plinth to follow a course that is more personal, immediate and even idiosyncratic, more concerned with the banal than the elevated, and to embrace a whole variety of other materials. This exhibition celebrates the Mundane Monumental.

Highlights include:

A major wall piece by The Boyle Family, Study for the Fire Series with Blackened Sandstone (1989). This work is at once the most elaborate, meticulous and monumental and yet at the same time could hardly be more banal in its recreation of carefully pinpointed locales.

One of Anthony Caro's major large-scale table-top sculptures, Table Piece CCCXLIX (1976). These are amongst his most celebrated works and as with precursors such as Paul Cezanne, and Picassos and Braque's pioneering cubism, use the most quotidian of subjects for the most radical of propositions, nothing less than the reformulation of sculptural practice.

One of Prunella Clough's most powerful sculptures, Bronze Relief (c.1994). This heavy bronze monumentalises the most transient of subjects: some material blown against a wire fence. The insubstantial impermanence transformed into something weighty and powerful.  

Eduardo Paolozzi's sculptures use a variety of material and an abundance of everyday objects as banal as children's toys and jelly moulds as ingredients for sculptures which challenge us to rethink the aesthetic qualities of the most trivial of objects in the home.