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Perspectives

Your place to explore new perspectives on British art from 1900 to now. Through interviews, films, image galleries and essays, we uncover the creative lives of the people behind the art on our walls.

Shelf of box files

Shelf Life: Exploring the Cass Archive

Jane Holt

[ Library and Archive )

Our Librarian, Jane Holt, delves into the rich Cass Artist’s Archive to explore works currently on display in our exhibition, New Works: Cultivating the Collection.

A recent addition to Pallant House Gallery Library and Archives are 328 Cass Artists’ Archive files from the former Cass Sculpture Park at Goodwood.  These were acquired along with forty-five art works from the Cass Sculpture Archive with support from Art Fund, John Booth and John Ayton MBE in 2019.

The Archive files each relate to an artist who has worked with the Cass Sculpture Foundation.  They record the process whereby artists’ works were commissioned, produced, displayed and promoted by Cass.  The files hold artists’ statements and CVs, correspondence, contracts, photographs, plans, specifications, images, drawings, sketches, press releases, cuttings, articles and anything else relevant to the commissioning, installation, display and sale of the sculptures.

The Cass Artists’ Archive is a unique collection recording the range and number of artists who worked with the Cass Sculpture Foundation.  They provide invaluable research material.  This blog gives a flavour of the material it contains, focusing on works displayed in our current Print Room and Garden Gallery exhibition, New Works: Cultivating the Collection, which includes works by eight artists from the Cass Sculpture Archive Collection.

 

Shirazeh Houshiary, The Extended Shadow,  (Work on paper), 1994

The Extended Shadow sculpture was installed at Cass Sculpture Park in 1994, made of cast lead with gold leaf and measuring 400 x 100 x 100 cm. The sculptor, Shirazeh Houshiary, is an Iranian-born British artist. She has shown in many national and international exhibitions, and worked on private and public commissions. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1994.

Above is a sketch of the finished work with a mock-up photograph of it in-situ at Cass Sculpture Park, and a photograph showing the installation of the finished sculpture.

 

 

Tony Cragg, Pillars of Salt, (Works on paper), 1996

British artist Tony Cragg is an internationally known sculptor with many private and public commissions and works on show around the world. Pillars of Salt is one of several sculptures Cragg produced for Cass Sculpture Park.  It was installed in 1998.  The work is bronze and around 5m high. Above are four photographs of Pillars of Salt at Cass Sculpture Park.

 

 

Cathy de Monchaux, Study for Confessional,  (Work on paper), 1998

Cathy de Monchaux’s work, Confessional (1997, copper, steel, glass, limestone, leather, H 500 cm) was a site specific, immersive pavilion. De Monchaux has used tactile and natural materials, a key feature in her work. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1998.

The Archive file relating to this work includes very extensive, detailed notes.  The site map shows how it will fit in the landscape at Cass, and the photographs show the finished work being installed.

 

 

Rachel Whiteread, Monument, (Resin and plaster maquette), 1999

Untitled Monument was a very high profile sculpture commissioned for the Fourth Plinth on Trafalgar Square by Cass Sculpture Foundation and installed in 2001.  The finished work was water-clear polyurethane resin, and measured 5 by 5 by 2.5 metres, weighing 11 tonnes.  In 1993, Whiteread was the first woman to win the Turner Prize.

Above is a press release about the project and an article from the Tate magazine showing a mock-up of the sculpture in situ.

 

 

Langlands & Bell, Sixty Cities, (Digital print on paper maquette), 1998

Langlands & Bell produced Fifty Cities for Cass in 1997.  It was made of Portland stone with a diameter of 600 cm, height 45 cm.  Shown here are mock-ups of the sculpture at Cass Sculpture Park, detailed drawings of the work, engineering plans for its construction and a photograph of the completed work in situ.

 

 

Wendy Ramshaw, Eight Degree Rotation (Maquette for Goodwood Gate), (Stainless steel sculpture maquette), 1999

Wendy Ramshaw was a renowned jewellery designer who also worked on a grand scale.  For Cass Sculpture Park’s fifth anniversary in 2001 she designed a gate, Eight Degree Rotation, based around the number five in form and shape. Two engineer plans show the complex mechanical features for this sculpture.  The installation photos show the work in the landscape at Cass Sculpture Park before being fitted to the gate posts.

Read more in Wendy Ramshaw: Art, Dynamism, and Design.

 

 

Eilis O’Connell, Unfold (Chevron) in two parts, (Bronze sculpture maquettes), 1997

Eilis O’Connell has worked on commissions across the UK and Ireland. Cass commissioned Unfold, a bronze sculpture installed in 2001.  The photo shows its final form at Cass Sculpture Park.

 

 

Helaine Blumenfeld, Spirit of Life (Marble sculpture maquette), 2004

American sculptor, Helaine Blumenfeld, has works in Britain and Italy.  She was Vice President of the British Society of Sculptors from 2004 to 2009. Her work is on a monumental scale and she has produced many public works. Spirit of Life was displayed at Cass Sculpture Park in 2004.  The sculpture itself is marble, 370 x 200 x 160 cm and weighs 3,300 kilograms, with a granite base measuring 51 x 170 x 170 cm and weighing 3,600 kilograms.

Below are two photographs of the sculpture, one with annotated notes on installation.  An article about the work when it was on show at Cass Sculpture Park was published in Country Life Magazine.

 

The Cass Artists’ Archive is in the process of being archived, so access for researchers is limited.  Please contact Jane Holt, if you are interested in knowing more about it.

Pallant House Gallery Library and Archives is open by appointment on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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