The Colour of Anxiety

The Colour of Anxiety

The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds has loaned a painting from our collection for their exhibition The Colour of Anxiety: Race, Sexuality and Disorder in Victorian Sculpture (until 26 Feb).

The Colour of Anxiety brings into focus sculpture exhibited and collected in Britain between 1850 and 1900, a rich yet largely overlooked body of work. The exhibition examines objects that introduced colour and new materials into the sculptural process, situating them within the context of the anxiety which often weighed upon Victorian society in the face of social change and scientific advances.

The Roman poet Ovid’s story ‘Pygmalion and Galatea’ was very popular with Victorian artists. Pygmalion is a sculptor who, having rejected living women as impure, carves a perfect ivory virgin and prays for her to be brought to life. His prayers are granted, and the white marble flesh turns pink as he watches. The sculptor John Gibson described having similar thoughts as he made his own Tinted Venus 1851–6, exclaiming ‘How was I ever to part with her?’.

Discover more of The Atkinson’s collections here:

The Colour of Anxiety: Race, Sexuality and Disorder in Victorian Sculpture

25 November 2022 – 26 February 2023
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

Posted on 19 February 2023 under Exhibition, General news

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