Thu, 8th Jul 2021 15:00

Modern & Post-War British Art Part II: The Studio of Alan Thornhill

  Lot 207

ALAN THORNHILL (1921-2020)

ALAN THORNHILL (1921-2020)
patinated terracotta
146 x 48.5 cm (57 1/2 x 19 in)

Conceived in 1977, the bronze cast of the present work stands at Prospect Quay, Riverside Quarter by Point Pleasant, Putney, and is one of the nine sculptures by Thornhill on the Putney Sculpture Trail.

Artist's estate

For further details on the artist, please check:

The Putney Sculpture Trail

The Putney Sculpture Trail featuring nine monumental bronzes by Alan Thornhill was opened in 2008. Set by the Thames, the route runs for one and a half miles, from Leaders Gardens to the west of Putney Bridge to Point Pleasant to its east.

Six of the original patinated terracottas from which the bronzes were cast are included in the auction; from west to east along the trail these are Load (lot 218, bronze near Thai Square); The Turning Point (lot 217, bronze on the corner of Putney High Street and Putney Bridge Road); Motherfigure (lot 217 bronze at Putney Wharf East; Nexus (lot 209, bronze on the south side of Wandsworth Park); Pygmalion (lot 208, bronze at the East Gate of Wandsworth Park) and Fall (lot 207, bronze at Prospect Quay, Riverside Quarter, Point Pleasant)

The idea of the trail began with the donation of Load to Wandsworth Council in the late 1980s, and installed close to Putney Bridge. In 2005 Thornhill offered further sculptures, and the idea of a sculpture trail along the banks of the Thames was devised, with primary sponsorship for the project from Western Riverside Environmental Fund and Wandsworth Council. It is now the largest permanent outdoor sculpture collection by one artist in London.

Thornhill always wanted his work to be viewed with an open and enquiring mind, without preconceptions of either form or meaning. He wrote: My aspiration has been to achieve in the round objects inviting scrutiny from many angles and removes, challenging and hopefully affecting the viewer. With practice over time the displacement of attention away from the subject adds the complexities sensed as ‘content’ to creep or flow into the work from which the viewer, including the sculptor himself, can obtain an unfathomable degree of mystified satisfaction.

Sold for £575

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