Visual Arts: Robert Morris, Henry Moore Institute
Robert Morris, Henry Moore Institute, 74 The Headrow, Leeds (0113-234 3158) to 24 August
Saturday 24 May 1997
In 1970, he closed down his own show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in protest against the American bombing of Cambodia. Not surprisingly, Kissinger and Nixon were unmoved and the bombing continued.
A year later, his first London show, a giant exhibition at the Tate Gallery, aroused further controversy when some of the "exhibits" began to injure visitors. Morris was always more interested in the materials of his sculpture than in the things made of these materials, and his work was often very loosely assembled. Sadly, his other idea, that the public should interact - touching, feeling, deconstructing - led to things falling apart rather too literally. The show was closed after a few days and remodelled as a non-touching retrospective.
For all this notoriety, Morris's work has remained surprisingly little known on this side of the Atlantic, and so an exhibition of his recent felt sculptures at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds is very welcome. He has always liked felt for its essentially unstructured qualities - it lies flat on the floor but finds its own shape when hung from the wall - challenging our preconceptions about shape and sculptural form, and it is less dangerous than the sheets of plywood and metal that he used at the Tate. This is a rare chance to the work of a major American artist.
EYE ON THE NEW
Tom Hammick's moody new paintings, inspired by a recent road trip he made from Los Angeles to Alaska, are on show until 19 June at the Redfern Gallery, 20 Cork Street, London WI (0171-734 1732). Expect big horizons and hypnotic fields of deep colour
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