The artist who whispered in the ears of hares
The work of Flanagan is one of a kind. artist sculptor has built his career on the personification of a very popular animal: the hare. Surprising, original, creative, his sculptures leave no one indifferent. If they amuse the youngest, adults can project themselves further and decode the messages hidden behind a singular posture, a staging ;an unusual or a cleverly orchestrated composition.
Flanagan: his Welsh childhood
The county Flint is a beautiful area in North Wales. There is a small town called Prestatyn. It was in this setting that Flanagan was born, on January 11, 1941. His first years took place in an environment, apparently peaceful, which allowed him to develop his skills. the child to grow up relatively peacefully, surrounded by of nature. Around it, small towns, a huge medieval castle and a river. All the elements come together to increase imagination and sensitivity. of a young boy dreaming of a bright future.
Entry to Fine Arts
As soon as he reaches the age of sixteen, Flanagan displays one certainty: his life will be entirely devoted ;e art. However, he needs to train, improve and experiment with various techniques, guided by by distinguished professors. In this capacity, he attended several Fine Arts Schools, after having started his studies. architectural studies. The drawing is up to date. the basis of all the projects he undertakes. During his passage to London, in the Saint Martin's School of Art, he moved more towards sculpture. The young artist then received instruction from Anthony Caro.
As the artist sculptor gains in experience and confidence, he approaches a movement called art. "Pataphysics". Through this new way of approaching sculpture, Flanagan seeks to achieve powerful work. For him, the "science of imaginary solutions" developed by the famous Alfred Jarry, becomes the gospel. Flanagan emancipates himself from a narrow vision of art and one that is far too classical in nature. his taste. He uses the absurd to create unusual sculptures. For him, experimental performance is a domain of expression that knows no limits. By choosing this form of creation, he develops his full potential.
Flanagan Exhibitions: The Baptism of Fire
It's London that he was able to learn sculpture for several years. Logically, it is this same city which hosts its first exhibitions, from the beginning of 1966. Critics and the public discover the hares which will make the Famous sculptor. In the 1970s, a few elephants and horses tried to make their way among the countless long-eared creatures already there. created, but this effort will be in vain. It is his hares that will definitively mark the entire world. It is true that the unusual anthropomorphic poses that he chooses for them offer their share of surprises, symbols and strong emotions.
Crossing the borders of Wales
Crossing the borders of Wales, here it is! an idea that seemed to be just a dream for Flanagan, for far too long. However, in 1982, he was given the opportunity to showcase his art internationally. abroad. The artist sculptor Flanagan is responsible for the work. to represent Great Britain at the Venice Biennale. This experience proves to be rich in lessons. Sixteen years later, it is Paris that Flanagan is exported. He is thus invited present several sculptures during the exhibition "A Century of English Sculpture", at the Jeu de Paume Museum.
Among all the bestiary he created over the years, it is the hares that will remain in history. Adopting incongruous poses, they are sometimes melancholic. That said, more often than not, burlesque wins. Describing in a few words the work of Flanagan is not an easy thing, but sometimes, it is the artist who talks about it best, so let's let him do it:
"I sculpt hares because they have things to say that interest me." Barry Flanagan.
"From a thematic point of view, the hare is a model of expressive resources […] the projection of Human attributes in the animal world is a very common process in literature and cinema. It can really touch people. On a practical level, if we think about what makes us feel situation and to mean something in a human representation, the range of expressions is in fact more limited than when we project onto an animal, in particular a hare, the expressive attributes of a being Ears, for example, can say much more than a character's squinting eyes or a model's grimace." Barry Flanagan.
His hares are now exhibited all over the world:
- New York,
Flanagan and the drawing
If his reputation was built solidly around his sculptures of hares, Flanagan nonetheless remains an excellent designer. His training in architecture probably nourished the artist in this sense. When he turns a leaf black, Flanagan is at his disposal. even make drawings at home. impeccable technique. Whether it's nudes, dogs or abstract art, Flanagan masters his subject.
Throughout his life, the artist sculptor brings life to life. countless creations. These are exhibited in various international museums or outdoors in various cities. Passionate, amused, inspired, Flanagan brings together a work that is unlike any other. no other. Unfortunately, one day, illness invades his daily life. Little to nothing little, his muscle mass tends to increase; melt, insidiously and painlessly. Cramps occur, more and more frequently, as well as temporary tremors. When the diagnosis is made, it sounds the death knell for a grandiose career: Charcot's disease. It leads to a progressive loss of a large part of the motor neurons located in the spinal cord and in the brain. After a few years of fighting, Flanagan dies. He took his last breath on August 31, 2009 at Ibiza.