Dialectical Materialism 

Aspects of British Sculpture since the 1960s
Jonathan Vernon and Jon Wood, 2019

Publisher: Ridinghouse.

ISBN: 978 1 909932 54 8

Dimensions: 27 × 22.5 cm

Pages: 56pp

Dialectical Materialism: British Sculpture since the 1960s charts a network of relations linking the work of six sculptors: Anthony Caro, Barry Flanagan, Richard Long, William Turnbull, Rachel Whiteread and Alison Wilding. Since the 1960s, successive artists and art-critical frameworks have sought to undermine or dispense with traditional media and the boundaries between painting and sculpture, the core disciplines of modern Western art. The artists studied here are united by their commitment to sculpture as a distinct practice, but also to broadening, challenging and redefining the basis of that practice. In his essay, art historian Jonathan Vernon argues that each of these sculptors has engaged in a realignment of sculptural and material space – in removing sculpture from the disembodied, ‘disinterested’ spaces of mid-century modernism and returning it to a shared world inhabited by other objects, our selves and our material interests. From the conflicts that inhere in this space, we may discern the outlines of a new idea of British sculpture since the 1960s – an idea by turns narrative, dramatic and dysfunctional.