Barry FlanaganLeaping Hare on Crescent and Bell
Welsh artist Barry Flanagan was born in Prestatyn, North Wales, in 1941. He is credited with helping revolutionize sculpture artistry in the 1960s and went on to be a preeminent force in the United Kingdom’s art scene until his passing in 2009. As a college student, his early soft sculptures, crafted from plaster and cloth, changed ideas about the language and future of sculpture. While he worked with many mediums, his work his most associated with his bronze statues of hares.
Flanagan’s dynamic hares, crafted in mid-leap as if springing into life, became a main subject of his art in the early eighties. When asked about the use of the hare, Flanagan would describe the magical experience of seeing a hare running on the Sussex Downs. The hare also represents life for Egyptians and immortality in Chinese mythology. The hare, steeped in meaning across cultures, soon became a surrogate for the humankind’s existence and their relation to animals. Flanagan’s love for animals also evolved into sculptures of elephants, dogs, and horses, though his love for hares remained his most popular work.
Flanagan’s work is held in public collections worldwide including MoMA, New York, Pompidou, Paris and Tate, London.