Monday, April 04, 2016

The more things change

You think things change? In 1956 the Auckland Art Gallery came under siege when it opened an exhibition by the English artist Henry Moore (you can download the AAG catalogue here). The Mayor popped in to describe the exhibition as ‘a nauseating sight' and for two weeks the newspapers gave themselves over to mocking attacks and general outrage. One wit melted some plastic in an oven and the press was only too pleased to feature the resulting blob as equal to anything Moore could come up with.  Now exactly 60 years later in New York City at Columbia University (seriously) students are protesting against what they call an ‘ugly hunk of metal’ that is due to arrive on campus (Strangely enough we have posted before on this Henry Moore sculpture back in 2008 when one of the edition was stolen from the Henry Moore Foundation.) Over 1,000 students have signed a petition for the installation of Henry Moore’s Reclining figure to be cancelled. It would probably be best though in this current case that the complaining students don’t bother to hold their breath. A substantial base has already been constructed and the sculpture will be placed on it later this week.
Images: top a copy of the Henry Moore Reclining figure that will be installed at Colombia, middle the NZ Press in full flight and bottom the 1956 Auckland Art Gallery catalogue cover