Barry Flanagan

(U.K.) *1941 in Prestatyn, Wales; †2009 in Santa Eulària des Riu, Spain

At the end of the 1970s, hares first cropped up in Barry Flanagan's drawings. Since the early 1980s, the hare has been the central being in Flanagan's pictorial world and become the “trademark“ of his art. The hare, which Flanagan grasps among other things as the symbol of life, takes the place of the human figure, the classical theme of sculpture, in his bronze works. The hare figures, with their over-long narrow bodies (an impression emphasized by the ears) offer Flanagan a bizarre variety of shapes. His bronze sculptures are defined less by volume than by linearity and with a touch of irony Flanagan imbues his hares with human traits in terms of their movements, gestures and activities. Thus “Nijinski Hare on Anvil Point“ takes on the role of the famous Russian ballet dancer Vaclav Nijinski and overcomes gravity, dancing at a great height on the tip of an outsized anvil. The ratio of the hare's size to that of the anvil are quite distorted, and their monumentality negates the reference to reality. The anvil on which the hare performs his expansive dance refers to the creative process of casting bronze.