New Sculpture at Clare
Several new sculptures and paintings by eminent living artists are going on display in College this year, as part of a programme to enhance the visual arts at Clare, encourage debate and stimulate interest in the arts.
The sculpture on the front lawn of Memorial Court is on loan generously from Roche Court’s New Art Centre near Salisbury, one of the country’s leading collections of contemporary sculpture. This work (untitled) is by Michael Bolus in 1974. He was a leading member of the New Generation of sculptors in the 1960s and 70s.
Extract from the catalogue for the New Generation Revisited exhibition in 2008:
“His earliest work was modelled or sculpted in stone, but Bolus soon abandoned these traditional techniques in favour of working with steel and aluminum, materials that allowed him to explore the notions of balance and the extension of form. … In the 1970s his sculpture left the ground, becoming more fragmented and making use of lattice and grid-like constructions that defy gravity. Colour is crucial, with monochrome red bringing continuity and a sense of weightlessness to the complex, skeletal framework of this work which balances as if hovering in space”.
Clare art collection goes online
High quality images of sixty-one paintings from the Clare art collection are now on the BBC's Your Paintings website, a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation and participating collections and museums from across the UK. It is estimated that there are some 200,000 oil, acrylic and tempera paintings held in museums, council buildings, universities, police stations and other public buildings, of which about 80% are hidden from view. The aim of The Public Catalogue Foundation is to improve public access to these paintings. Although the College, as a private institution, does not fall strictly within The Foundation’s remit, it joins several other Cambridge Colleges in participating in the venture. When completed this highly searchable website will show the entire collection of publicly owned oil paintings across the United Kingdom, and will be the only website anywhere in the world illustrating a nation’s entire painting collection.
Confucius at Clare
Wu Wei-Shan, President of the Chinese Academy of Sculpture and Director of the Academy of Fine Arts of Nanjing University, has given his life-size bronze sculpture of the Chinese sage Confucius to Clare. Wu Wei-Shan is one of China's most prestigious contemporary sculptors, and was the first Asian artist to be admitted into the Royal Society of British Sculptors.
Confucius was previously displayed as part of the Fitzwilliam Museum's Sculpture Promenade 2009, an outdoor exhibition of contemporary sculpture.
Wei-Shan’s work combines elements of Western sculpture with a respect for traditional Chinese aesthetics; Confucius is an homage to the grotto-sculptures of ancient China cast using modern techniques.
Confucius celebrates Clare’s links with Chinese history, civilisation and learning: the first translation of Confucius’s teachings into English was published by a Fellow of Clare, Nathaniel Vincent, in 1685, while the current Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilisation, Roel Sterckx, is a Fellow of Clare.