A display of drawings by 20th-century sculptors is a welcome event, and the multi-levelled, multi-functional Kings Place provides just the right ambience, the building echoing the concept and providing a satisfying mix of enjoyment, surprise and irritation. To stage Sculptors’ Drawings (until 12 October) has been a long-held ambition of Pangolin’s Rungwe Kingdon and he has assembled over 200 works, including Eduardo Paolozzi’s ‘Collage’ (above), plus a scattering of 3D pieces. It sounds straightforward, but this being the art world, and sculpture a broad kirk, no chance to complicate has been foregone.
The ‘drawings’ encompass working exercises, recordings, dissections, experimental shape-making and pieces that exist as creations in their own right. It’s not just charcoal and pencil, watercolour and ink; there are also lithographs, photogravures, monoprints and etchings. From Nigel Hall’s huge charcoal and acrylic, to Charles Sargeant Jagger’s delicate study of a hand, this is a formidable gathering.
How do the exhibits stand up to the ebb and flow of this dynamic corner of King’s Cross? Surprisingly well, despite a price list and labelling that cause a certain amount of head-scratching and backtracking on the part of the visitor. The galleries themselves are the easiest places to view the exhibits, but it’s the pieces out in the glass-encased public areas that somehow seem more alive. Sculptors, with their forensic habits of looking, should be glad to have the evidence of their innermost thoughts displayed in such a revealing setting.
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