New Sculpture at Clare
Several new sculptures and paintings by eminent living artists are on display in College as part of a programme to enhance the visual arts at Clare, encourage debate and stimulate interest in the arts.
Until recently a striking red (untitled) sculpture by Michael Bolus has been situated on the front lawn of Memorial Court. This was generously on loan from Roche Court’s NewArtCentre near Salisbury (http://sculpture.uk.com/), one of the country’s leading collections of contemporary sculpture. Roche Court has now replaced it with Robert Adams’ sculpture ‘Two’ (Opus 377), 1976-77, edition 1 of 3 (266.5 × 122 × 89 cm / 105 × 48 × 35 ins including base)
Members of College may be interested in the biography of Robert Adams , courtesy of the Roche Court website:
Robert Adams (1917 –1984) studied at the Northampton School of Art from 1933 to 1944. He participated in various group exhibitions during the war and had his first one-man show, of sculpture, at Gimpel Fils in London in 1947. His early sculpture of this period consisted of forms abstracted from natural objects, made in wood, plaster and stone. After his one-man show he made several extended trips to Paris, where he became interested in the work of Brancusi and Julio Gonzalez. In 1949 Adams began to work with metal and undertook a teaching post in industrial design at the Central School of Art and Design in London, which he held until 1960. While there he came into contact with Victor Pasmore and artists such as Kenneth Martin and Mary Martin who were pursuing the development of Constructivist ideas in Britain. He was interested in the link between art and architecture, as reflected in a large wall based relief he made in 1959 from reinforced concrete for the Municipal Theatre at Gelsenkirchen in Germany.In 1962, together with Hubert Dalwood (1924-76), Adams represented British sculpture at the Venice Biennale. His work of the 1960s often used welded steel sheets, sometimes perforated, as in Large Screen Form (1962; London, Tate). In the 1970s and until his death Adams' sculptural works, often made in bronze or stainless steel, remained abstract but of a less geometrical nature than his earlier work. Among his later public works was the large steel sculpture for Kingswell in Hampstead (1973), designed from a simple, Minimalist form.
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.