17 March – 21 June 2015
2015 marked 100 years since Henri Gaudier-Brzeska died aged 23 in the First World War. His sculpture and drawings reveal an artist constantly experimenting as he sought to capture through art the energy he saw in life.
New Rhythms included sculpture, drawings and paintings by Gaudier-Brzeska and his contemporaries David Bomberg, Jacob Epstein, Percy Wyndham Lewis, William Roberts, Auguste Rodin, Helen Saunders and Alexander Archipenko. A contemporary dance and music commission completed the exhibition.
Kettle’s Yard has one of the largest collections of works by Gaudier-Brzeska including two strikingly different sculptures of dancers, from which the inspiration for this exhibition comes. New Rhythms explores the pre-war London in which Gaudier-Brzeska lived, with its burgeoning dance scene including performances of the Ballets Russes, the explosion of dance forms like Tango and the growing popularity of wrestling.
The exhibition also included a new commission which takes inspiration from Gaudier-Brzeska’s Wrestlers relief. This collaboration between composer Kate Whitley, choreographer Malgorzata Dzierzon and filmmaker David McCormick, featured music for a violinist and a violist and a duo of dancers. On view in the exhibition, it asked us to consider how Gaudier-Brzeska’s works can inspire NEW RHYTHMS today. You can watch excerpts from the film below.