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David Annesley


The New Generation: 1964 Whitechapel Gallery, London, March–May, 1964 The New Generation: 1965 Whitechapel Gallery, London, March–April, 1965

The Phoenix Project

Jon Wood


‘New Generation’ sculpture in the 1960s had all the best lines. From Anthony Caro’s ‘Early One Morning’ (1962) to Phillip King’s ‘Tra-La-La’ (1963) and ‘And the Birds Began to Sing’ (1964) we find artists using resonant words and phrases that worm their ways into our heads, carrying all kinds of associations with them. Sometimes they transport us elsewhere, across time, place and space, and at other times they conjure up a mood, encouraging us to speculate on the atmospheric life of a sculpture or to imagine the metaphorical micro-climate in which it might reside. Michael Bolus gave us ‘Nenuphar’ (1963) and Isaac Witkin ‘Nagas’ (1964). William Tucker presented ‘Persephone’ (1964), ‘Karnak’ (1965), ‘Memphis’ (1966), ‘Luxor’ (1966) and ‘Thebes’ (1966), while Tim Scott offered ‘Agrippa’ (1964), ‘Quantic of Sakkara’ (1965), ‘Quadreme’ (1966) and ‘Quinquereme’ (1966), calling to mind the beginning of John Masefield’s poem ‘Cargoes’, a hymn to the transportation of raw materials across the seas and over the ages. From children’s nursery rhymes to pop songs, from enigmatic phrases to the declaratory proper nouns, all these wonderful titles operate powerfully as ‘invisible colours’ to echo the title of John Welchman’s Invisible Colors: A Visual History of Titles (1997), through which to look and think further about art works.1 David Annesley’s use of titles in these years took similar directions. Passionate about classical music and jazz, he also wrote poetry as a young man, which gave him a particular interest and expertise too. This linguistic ability is echoed in his spoken and written words about art more generally, and Annesley was a subtle and highly articulate interpreter of sculpture in the 1960s, as his contribution to ‘Anthony Caro’s work: a symposium by four sculptors’, transcribed and reproduced in Studio International in 1969, demonstrates.2 Looking back at his work, in conversation recently, he recalls that the words he used for his sculptures ‘were selected for their sounds’ rather than any anecdotal, narrative or literary content, continuing ‘in a way, I was making a kind of sound sculpture through them.’3 ‘Orinoco’ (1965) was ‘onomatopoeic, rather than the result of looking over a map’ and ‘Lonely Avenue’ (1973), which was taken from the title of a Ray Charles song, was chosen for the rhythmical quality of those two words together.4 Annesley recalls seeing ‘a congruence between the rhythm of the song and the rhythm of the sculpture.’ The title was also chosen by Annesley as it reflected his trepidation at that particular time about life ahead of him – as an artist beyond the art school. Such anxieties interestingly coincided with international success and, only a few years later,




‘Lonely Avenue’ was included as an illustration within the famous ‘Tanktotem’ chapter on welded sculpture in Rosalind Krauss’ groundbreaking book Passages in Modern Sculpture (1977) and came to stand for the image of Annesley’s sculpture for a number of years, especially for a North American audience.5 His ‘Loquat’ (1965) [Cat.  no.1] and ‘Godroon’ (1966) [Cat.  no.2], both works in this exhibition, have different registers. ‘Loquat’, which is the name of a flowering plant and fruit, was chosen as it evoked the idea of the ‘rich, big and ripe’ and corresponded to the bulging, curvilinear forms of that work. ‘Godroon’, on the other hand, which is the name given to a convex rounded ornament found in furniture and architecture, simply ‘popped into my head, like concrete poetry’. He added: ‘I looked up the meaning later on’, reminding anyone who needed reminding that Annesley was – and still is – an artist who always focuses on developing the visual experiences at stake, both for sculpture and for painting, across and between two and three dimensions. This is a quality that the sculptors Peter Hide (b. 1944) and Garth Evans (b. 1934), based in Canada and the United States respectively, have remarked upon recently, seeing a correspondence between the clear compositions of Annesley’s sculptures and the compelling ways in which they harness the viewer’s attention. Hide recalls being struck at the time by ‘the singularity of the work’, stating ‘it was not part-to-part or dispersed like the work of Anthony Caro. His works had a single element or a single image, which was always very striking and powerful.’6 And Evans writes: ‘His work from the sixties is vivid in my memory. I thought it delightful, clean, and elegant. It was airy and frank: frankly two sided, frankly sign-like, frankly colorful. It was declarative, but in a subtle and complex way. His work sort of insinuated itself into one’s consciousness, rather as a popular song might.’7 The title of one of Annesley’s most well-known sculptures, ‘Swing Low’ (1964), in the Tate’s collection, is particularly interesting in this respect. [Fig. 1] It is a popular song, but it also opens up a fascinating area of Annesley’s sculptural imagination which is little mentioned nowadays: namely the impact of his experience as an RAF pilot in the 1950s. ‘Swing low’ are the first two words of the nineteenth-century slave song, much repeated over the decades in different contexts. It goes:


Fig. 1 David Annesley ‘Swing Low’, 1964




Swing low, sweet chariot Coming for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Coming for to carry me home I looked over Jordan, and what did I see? (Coming for to carry me home) I saw a band of angels coming after me (Coming for to carry me home) Chorus If you get back to heaven before I do (Coming for to carry me home) You’ll tell all my friends, I’ll be coming there too (Coming for to carry me home)

Although a song much popularised through films such as Dixie (1943), Young Man with A Horn (1950) and Band of Angels (1957), Annesley recalls a deeper connection to his still developing experience of space. He looks back on this sculpture as an exploration of contrasting organic and inorganic forms, seeing a ‘rippling wave of organic life’ passing through the box frame, unsettling its orderliness and tilting it off balance. Annesley’s experience of the open space of the sky can also be read as informing his sensibility and this approach to sculptural composition. His reflections on this are striking. He states: ‘Although I didn’t think about it consciously at the time, my training to be an RAF pilot, of learning how to fly and doing aerobatics led me to make the kind of sculpture I did.’ And he continues: ‘My sculpture drew upon my physical experience of low level aerobatics. Doing aerobatics and things like barrel rolls at Hullavington was an exciting, if challenging experience. The flying instructors tested you to see how much you could handle. On one occasion, I recall the flying instructor flying at such a low level that the tips of the wings were almost touching the tree tops below.’


Looking at ‘Swing Low’ through his later account of these gravity and death-defying experiences is fascinating. We might see a blue and green looping line of flight locked in between the yellow boxes of pressurised space above and below it. These boxy, yellow forms keep the line in the air – as the thrust / lift and weight / drag keep an airplane in the sky – and the whole sculpture sits carefully poised with all the certainty and subtlety of a well-conceived, well-engineered object – painted yellow and blue for ‘maximum contrast’. Aviation can be read as informing at once the idea of movement in his sculpture and at the same time the streamlined, machine aesthetic of the forms created to articulate it. Annesley spent two years in the RAF between 1956 and 1958, from the ages of twenty to twenty-two. First he was based at Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire, then at RAF Hullavington, an airbase situated between Malmesbury and Chippenham in Wiltshire and finally at Uxbridge. He undertook a Short Service Commission which he continued to National Service and at Uxbridge where he worked as part of the early warning team on movements liaison. At Hullavington he learned how to fly in Percival Provosts [Fig. 2] and was one of the last to learn in this piston trainer aircraft before it was superseded by the new Jet Provost. The aerobatic dimension of this training was challenging. His personal threshold to withstand G-force without blacking out was not high enough to enable him to pursue a career as a pilot and this, coupled with his own growing realisation that a ‘desk job’ career in the RAF was not for him, meant he began to think about alternatives. Through his close friendship in these years with fellow pilot officer Keith Graville, Annesley began to develop an interest in art and started keeping a sketchbook and then, while at Uxbridge, attended evening life drawing classes at St Martin’s School of Art. There he learned to ‘see the world through drawing’. This also led him via Frank Martin, the charismatic Head of Sculpture at St Martin’s, to sculpture and to Anthony Caro, for whom he also worked as an assistant, along with his friend Michael Bolus, in the early 1960s, welding in aluminium as well as steel in Caro’s cobble floored studio. From there, Annesley’s world opened up before him: to Kenneth Noland and Black Mountain College and the start of a life as a modern artist. Although the gravity-defying weightlessness for which Annesley’s sculpture became known emerged out of a sculpture context and out of an artistic rejection of weight, bulk, plinths and



Fig. 2 Percival P. 56 Provost T1 (XF680 / 56 / 325) Central Flying School, RAF Hullavington Airshow, September 1962



Figs. 3–9





rootedness – what he calls the ‘negation of common existing values’ – his work is charged with a range of concerns which can be seen to relate powerfully to his aviation experiences only a few years earlier. The sculptor John Dee (b. 1938) has also recently remarked on this particular connection, writing: ‘It has always astonished me that nobody has mentioned Annesley’s National Service experience as an RAF pilot when considering the airy, gravity-free impression he seemed to be aiming for – an impression often in tension with the weight of the material.’8 This text presents it as a much overlooked, early aspect of his thinking and one which helped him develop a heightened understanding of space and a predilection for sculpture in the years ahead. To enable us today to further grasp the potential impact of learning to fly on a young artist, consideration of the drawings reproduced across Elementary Flying Training (first published by HMSO in 1943) and especially in the chapter on ‘Aerobatics’ help give additional, illustrative form to the aerial experiences at stake. [Figs. 3–9] In relation to Annesley’s sculpture, this impact is especially legible in the two large, circular untitled works on display in this exhibition, made in 1968 and 1969 about ten years after his time at Hullavington. Made of painted aluminium and steel, they show a circle inside a triangle inside a larger circle. Lines are an animated combination of straight, curved and wavy. Annesley is informative on the resonance of these forms. He states: ‘The circle has no direction which is what I love about it. The triangle couldn’t be more directional so I enjoyed that combination of opposites.’ He also reflects on the link to flying, adding: ‘the circle is looping the loop … the sculptures are like barrel rolls, spirals going forwards.’ He continues, making a connection between sculpture as drawing in space and sculpture as flying in space, ‘it was like drawing out chunks of space in metal. The thinness of the metal goes back to the flying experience. It is just a pathway. It is called an airplane, but it is basically a plane, as a sculptural plane.’ And he concludes: ‘All my sculptures could be carried out by little planes flying around.’ Although Annesley sees flying as a kind of sculptural drawing, he also sees it in relation to painting, since these drawn containers for space, when painted, are essentially ‘colours floating around’. Not only that, but highly interrelated ones, with ‘colour reflected in another’. He continues: ‘when you make planes running away from you they reflect into each other, modifying and intensifying each other.’ At his most sculptural Annesley is also at his most painterly, seeing




the material life of paint and its various layers and finishes, as well as lighting conditions, in sculptural terms. His anecdote about the paint in the tin is telling indeed: ‘I recall opening a half full tin of paint and seeing the colour reflected in the dried paint around the circular inside of the paint tin. It looked fantastic, compared to the dull effect you got when you put the paint on the wall.’ It is difficult to look at Annesley’s painted sculptures and not think of painted aircraft, but there is also a crucial emotional dimension at stake here too. Flying was evidently both an orientating and disorientating experience and Annesley has powerful memories of what he calls the ‘internal marker’ within oneself that pilots need to coordinate and navigate themselves when doing aerobatics and when other ‘external markers’, such as the horizon line, offer invaluable but limited support. He also sees, in his case, how such inner compass experiences transferred naturally to sculptural ones, finding an outlet in the kind of compositions he later created. This need for internal coordination is also perhaps in part what animates lively but well-organised works such as ‘Untitled’ (1968) [Cat.  no.4], ‘Untitled’ (1969) [Cat.  no.6], ‘Loquat’ and ‘Godroon’. It is a need which is reflected in his later, long-standing preoccupation with the mandala, which offers an image of multiple self-containments that can provide contemplative viewers with calm and equilibrium. Annesley encountered the mandala in the drawings illustrated in Carl Jung’s Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (first published in 1969). Such forms within forms and concentric images, according to Annesley, ‘are restorative … they release endorphins and give the eye and brain what it likes to do, namely introduce order, bringing everything back together again, bringing perspective and balance, and thus allowing us to re-orientate ourselves.’ Perhaps, in a sense, this longing for order and reorientation is one of the driving forces of this new exhibition. On one level it stands as an act of restoration and recuperation, since sculpture lost in the Momart warehouse fire in 2004 has been reconstructed for the occasion and works which only existed in fragmentary form have been reunited and reconfigured. In discussing these endeavours the artist has used the phrase ‘the phoenix project’, alluding to the mythical bird that rises from ashes, symbolic of reincarnation. It is a powerful conceit, and given the role of flight and aviation in the sculptural imagination outlined here, the avian metaphor seems hardly coincidental.


There were several artists who made sculpture in the decades following World War II who served earlier in the RAF and often connections and correspondences are discernable in their work. Some were drawn to the figurative iconographies of flight, others to its technologies, instruments and devices. Some were inspired by the new aerial viewing conditions afforded at altitude and the new topographies on offer, while others by the impressive, mechanical and streamlined forms of aircraft themselves, with their wonderful blends of precision, lightness and physical bulk. Annesley’s own approach within this field is very special. He responded intuitively not only to the gravity-defying power of aircraft and to the forms and aesthetics at work, but also to the emotional, experiential and phenomenological life of flying and to those peculiar and kinetic coalitions of skin and bone, of pilot and object, of structure and surface that it generates.

Jon Wood October 2017

1 John Welchman, Invisible Colors: A Visual History of Titles, London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. 2 David Annesley / Roelof Louw / Tim Scott / William Tucker, ‘Anthony Caro’s work: a symposium by four sculptors’, Studio International, vol.177, no.907, January 1969, pp.14–20. 3 David Annesley, in conversation with the author, Sunday 1st October 2017. All quotations in this essay are from this conversation. 4 See Sam Cornish’s recent celebration of Annesley’s ‘Orinoco’ in a recent review. 5 Rosalind E. Krauss, Passages in Modern Sculpture, The Viking Press, 1977, p.196. 6 Peter Hide, letter to the author, September 2017. 7 Garth Evans, letter to the author, September 2017. 8 John Dee, letter to the author, September 2017.


The slick of the eye, a slip of the tongue

Richard Wentworth


I direct my hand to my pocket. I entertain a split second thought – ‘pockets must be an ancient form, a construction as old as drapery itself…’ My fingers feel knowingly for the smooth encapsulator, my personal democratising cornucopia, this rounded, flattish object. ‘Slimmer than a pack of cigarettes’, one might say. Warm to the touch, a modern commonplace. Like abraded bricks on any shore. Eroded, how form becomes shape. Slimline. Ducks and drakes. A surface, a screen, my coat of many colours. Unremarkable. My mark-maker. I’m opening it now. I will use this tool to write about David Annesley. Arriving in London in 1965 as a student, I know now that I cannot revive that moment. Any precision has long evaporated. Let’s be realistic. I can recall, I can delve, I can retrieve, but I have no way to create a faithful map of what I may have known then, or what I came to learn later to contradict those habits of mind. Things impress themselves upon you, some leave more of a mark than others. It’s all so unaccountable. Irresponsible. Time cannot answer back. Unresponsive.



I do have a fair sense of my personal life, and how to criticise it. I also have clear recollections of how this city functioned. Group therapy. London was decrepit, unregulated, peeling, dirty, damp and unheated, poorly lit. Not unpleasant, but modest in so many ways. Malodorous in parts. Slightly agricultural. Rag-and-bone men, horse drawn. A widely shared datum. Post war years, as now I realise. Older people often seemed quite remote. Things were held together rather than joined. Some things just held together, almost miraculously. I could name painters and sculptors. I knew who did what, but perhaps not why. Off Haverstock Hill, my parents did know painters, men who wore a white bib and braces, the ones who whistled on, and from, wooden ladders. In art, I could tell the Italians from the French, Germans from the Russians, Americans from the British. I knew Spanish was complicated, that they understood iron. Catholics. Civil wars. Beyond that I knew little, but I was good at guessing. Maybe I could have known about the Dutchman who stayed down the hill on his way to New York at the start of the war. How could the Dutch be so diverse? Whatever did Mondrian and de Kooning say to each other? I probably understood painting as an activity that took place in the vertical plane, if not on an easel. My sense of sculpture wavered between the carved, modelled, cast and assembled. Up on a base, or perhaps starting out from the ground. Covering all bases. ‘Constructed’ was confusing because it could get blurred with Constructivism. ‘Collage’ was a French word so I knew it must be something to do with art.




Without my pocket cornucopia, information came from ‘going to see’, but also from rumour, or black and white photographs in Thames and Hudson books, or cracked slides in smoke filled art school lecture theatres. The smoky weightless cone from the projector was the something we all shared. The materiality of the period is sometimes incidentally betrayed in archival gallery shots, or heated up in promotional publications, bent on flaunting colour photography, a near edible chemistry. The Sunday supplement, a pin up. I felt, I think, that the grown-ups were having arguments. I knew it. Very slowly I was learning scraps of critical language. Received opinions. I recall ‘valid’ doing the rounds, ‘decorative’ as the hangman’s noose, and ‘illustrative’ as a firing squad. ‘Theatrical’ could get you put in solitary. ‘Didactic’ was waiting on the marbled lino in the corridor. ‘Style’ and ‘look’ could get you arrested. We were stalked by polysyllabics-juxtaposition, polychrome, polymorphous. Classical educations. Was it perhaps black and white photography on such cheap paper that suggested European art was so brown? A comical misreading, but something which did match the stretched hessian of gallery walls and shaky screens, echoing the grubby umbers of the streets. ‘Matching’ was, after all, a term in everyday use. ‘Covering’ was one way to do things, sometimes a deliberate cover up, but also as a way to invoke modernity. Seamlessness was desirable. Hardboard nailed into fireplaces and over panelled doors. Flush. The quick tosh. White paint (no more cream), ‘emulsion’, became commercially available. A pasteurisation of domestic pastures. Interiors might suddenly appear fresher, visually deodorised. Blinds replaced pelmets and curtains, the fall of light became more southern. ‘All over’. Bathing (never a shower, because the water pressure was too feeble), the slickness of young skin, the fresh coat of paint. Rubbing down. Gloss enamel like the bathtub, and the paraffin heater. Brushes, not rollers.



Anybody who had travelled was exotic. Anybody who had been to New York was some kind of prophet or missionary. The sects were very, very small. Cells. Sleepers, if you did not know them. Amongst the grown-ups I knew or had heard of, I could detect tribal divisions, fierce alliances, unbreakable codes. Fallings out quite as much as circumstantial companionships. The ‘helping hand’, the simple convenience of being ‘local’. Some trades, few crafts. Music, books, cinemas, films, pubs, bands. More smoke. Black and white. London, then, was not ‘on the move’, just demobbed and demobilised. Mobilisation was provoked directly by the Clean Air Acts, the fresh air of the GLC, aspirational mobility and the mass migrations that followed. I could mark up the furry black print of the A–Z and give a fair demographic description page by page. In 1965, the boroughs as we know them, along with the Greater London Council, began functioning, a refreshing administrative novelty. The fast-track to building the Hayward. In a morning (everything closed at five, and half past twelve on a Saturday) it was still possible to visit the dozen galleries which constituted the London scene, to keep abreast of who was doing what, and how. Effortless. There I could sense the flows and undertows of different energies, the different kinds of confidence, the different ways of sharing and competing. Bryan Robertson’s Whitechapel was the easternmost site of pilgrimage, a traipse. I had seen the 1964 Rauschenberg show there as a schoolboy. This young Robertson obviously loved publishing, evangelising. A posse maker, perhaps? As a student, I had his New Generation catalogues. Devouring them, I admired their simple design. Layouts.



Display. Making things stand up. Making them visible. Welding the precarious. Correcting the colour balance. I can no longer say whether I saw these shows or not, something about fusing images on the page and the spaces and works they represent. Casualties of the mental archive, slipperiness and slippages. Richard Hoggart’s warning about ‘sticky memory’. In a city which made things, where Battersea smelt of brewing, where Tower Bridge Road smelt of vinegar, hemp and leather, where Shad Thames smelt of cloves and Bermondsey smelt of rubber, jam and biscuits, there were also the sounds, repetitive, intermittent. Once on a winter night at the Elephant, I heard Big Ben’s chimes, simultaneous to a river foghorn. A good breeze from the east would make Rotherhithe smell like a resinous forest, as the gigantic open stacks of sawn pine in Surrey Docks queued for their barges. The long awaited invasion of ‘containers’ not yet marshelled. I knew about structures, about size and scale and the abstracted language employed to describe them, but I had not a clue of how the city was managed or articulated, how governments related to commerce, to populace, to skills, to work, to lives. The hiss of steam in Whitechapel, the thump of the sheet metal guillotines in railway arches, the hum of a sheet metal press down an oily mews, the tump tump of a stamping machine, the deep barrelling of the heaviest rollers. At home a mangle was not uncommon. Amidst the cokey smells of chimneys and the cabbagey wafts from boiling vegetables, rendering them down to their cellulose base, there were the new urgent smells of modernity. The carbon tetrachloride of ‘dry’ cleaning, the sickly aromas of polyester curing and that warm tang of freshly cut acrylic. Burning polystyrene, napalm’s cousin. The implicit sex of Gauloises. French. Screen printers, would-be Americans, another source of intoxicants – liquid colour by squeegee. My own knowledge of colour theory was always limited. Because I see material, and form, and process long before I see colour, I probably flinched from the more Bauhausian instruction. Colour wheels, hues, tones. I do remember the excitement of seeing colour when it was embodied, the chemically erotic slab of colour, the outrageous continuum



of ‘shine’ – vinyl on the roll, the dense lubriciousness of any ‘fresh coat of paint’. Make up, maquillage, the mask. The man with the built-up shoe and the Lancashire accent on Holborn Viaduct sold compressors and spray guns. Assembly. Parts. Microns. Atomising would be the future. Maquilladores, quite a jump from assemblage. Much later I made the connection back to heraldry, the graphical power of dividing up surfaces, the persuasiveness of an emblem, the delight in contour and repetition. Bits and pieces. Sign-writing. Logo-types. Decorative literacy. The fluencies of Deco. I am readily reminded of modest delights, catching the flare of a welding torch at dusk, the glow of coke in street braziers in the early hours. (The truly great industrial fires, the ‘heat-intensives’, sugar, brick, glass, iron making were public spectacles way before the industrial revolution.) Childhood witnessing, horseshoes being conjured on an anvil, a world of ‘willing’ contour, when shapes and forms were hotly pursued, happily indistinguishable. Very Spanish. Curve and counter curve, corrugation. Touch and go. Fingertip gestures, tectonic plates. Plate theory, that too was in the air. Hot trades, cold forming, the wet trades, first fix, second fix. No dry lining. On the derelict British Library site, there was a great steel supplier, huts and sheds, stacks and piles. An orchard of ironwork. Drive in. Rough and ready. Mud larking, fossicking. Finding out. I remember discovering ‘water bar’, an imperative for every threshold. Getting ready with the ready-mades. Either side of Pentonville Hill was devoted


to steel stockholders. ‘Black’ and ‘bright’ were the trade descriptors. Rod, bar, angle, flange, lug, tab, channel, sheet, plate, pipe, tube. Weld, braze, bolt, pin. Swatch. Paint. The finished article. The transformative powers of blemish free ‘finish’ carried a double metaphor – the last chance to obliterate errors of judgement alloyed to ‘completion’. Shear magic. Whether aforethought or afterthought, all this is now braided into how I have come to make sense of a David Annesley sculpture. It is all part of a very much wider European-trans-Atlantic drift, a conversation encompassing weights and measures, calibration and interval, adjuncts and demarcations, part of an architectonic debate, how things begin, how things meet, how things end. Much the same conversation I first happened to overhear fifty years ago, matured. The teenager. The eaves-dropper. I stroke the surface and use the side of my thumb to add a final full stop. I drop the slim utensil back into my pocket.

Richard Wentworth 5 October 2017

Dedicated to Lucy Wentworth, who was three on 5 October 2017



1 Loquat, 1965

2 Godroon, 1966

3 Three Red Boxes and Circle, 1967

4 Untitled, 1968

5 Untitled, 1968–9

6 Untitled, 1969 photographed in David Annesley’s studio in 1969

7 Untitled, 1969

8 Kurumidza 1, 2017

9 Kurumidza 2, 2017



Loquat, 1965

Untitled, 1969

painted stainless steel (remade in 2017)

painted aluminium (remade in 2017)

42 x 90 x 36 in / 106.7 x 228.6 x 91.4 cm

83 x 79 x 24 in / 210.8 x 200.6 x 61 cm

from an edition of 3

from an edition of 3



Godroon, 1966

Untitled, 1969

painted stainless steel (remade in 2017)

painted aluminium

52 3/4 × 58 3/8 × 21 5/8 in / 133.8 x 148.2 x 55 cm

88 x 82 3/4 × 24 in / 223.5 x 210.2 x 61 cm

from an edition of 3

from an edition of 3



Three Red Boxes and Circle, 1967

Kurumidza 1, 2017

painted steel

painted stainless steel

85 1/2 × 94 1/2 × 17 in / 217 x 240 x 43 cm

30 x 30 x 9 in / 76.2 x 76.2 x 22.9 cm

from an edition of 3

from an edition of 5



Untitled, 1968

Kurumidza 2, 2017

painted and chromed steel

painted stainless steel

23 7/8 × 34 1/8 × 6 in / 60.6 x 87.6 x 16.5 cm

30 x 30 x 9 in / 76.2 x 76.2 x 22.9 cm


from an edition of 5

5 Untitled, 1968–9 painted aluminium and steel 88 x 82 3/4 × 24 in / 223.5 x 210.2 x 61 cm from an edition of 3

Three sculptures from the 1960s, ‘Loquat’, ‘Godroon’ and ‘Untitled’ (1969) were destroyed in the Momart warehouse fire in 2004. These works have been remade under the artist’s supervision for this exhibition (Cat. nos.1, 2 & 6).

David Annesley


Born in London


Educated in England, Australia and Zimbabwe


Completes National Service as a Royal Air Force pilot


Enrols at St Martin’s School of Art, London, to study painting; transfers to the sculpture department to study under Anthony Caro, also works as his studio assistant


Spends six months in Mallorca, Spain


Teaches at Croydon College of Art, London


Teaches sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art, London


Teaches at Central School of Art and Design, London


Visits the United States and stays with Kenneth Noland in Bennington, Vermont. Makes several sculptures in Noland’s welding studio which he then gifts to Noland upon his return to England


Makes a second visit to the United States, and stays with Kenneth Noland


Publishes statement entitled ‘Colour in sculpture’ in Studio International, January Participates in ‘Anthony Caro’s work: a symposium by four sculptors’ with Roelof Louw, Tim Scott and William Tucker, published in Studio International, January

Temporarily stops making sculpture and resumes painting


Becomes Course Director and Senior Lecturer of sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art, London, renamed Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 1989


Invited to be an external examiner in sculpture at Manchester Polytechnic, Croydon College of Art, and Wimbledon School of Art


Tutors at the Sculpture School, Royal College of Art, London


Prizewinner in BP sculpture competition


Produces work for Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester


Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors


Invited to be an external examiner at Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, Ireland

Lives and works in London


The Waddington Galleries, London

Poindexter Gallery, New York


The Waddington Galleries, London

Poindexter Gallery, New York


Waddington Galleries, London


Watters Gallery, Sydney


Anderson O’Day Gallery, London


Young Contemporaries, Royal Society of British Artists, London

26 Young Sculptors, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

IIème Biennale de Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris


Joven Escultura Inglesa, Salas de exposiciones del Ateneo de Madrid, Madrid

Grabowski Gallery, London


Mixed Exhibition, Molton Gallery, London


The New Generation: 1965, Whitechapel Gallery, London


New Sculpture 1966, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford

Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors, Jewish Museum, New York

Sculpture in the Open Air, Battersea Park, London

5e Internationale beeldententoonstelling Sonsbeek ’66, Arnhem, The Netherlands


Acht junge britische Bildhauer, Kunsthalle, Bern

British Sculpture, Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich

British Sculpture and Painting from the collection of the Leicestershire Education Authority, Whitechapel Gallery, London


The New Generation: 1968, Interim, Whitechapel Gallery, London

New British Sculpture, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol

Junge Generation Grossbritannien, Akademie der Künste, Berlin


Contemporary British Art, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo


The Alistair McAlpine Gift, Tate Gallery, London


A Silver Jubilee Exhibition of Contemporary British Sculpture, Battersea Park, London


15 Sculptors in Steel Around Bennington: 1963–1978, The Park-McCullough House Association, North Bennington, Vermont


Contemporary Sculpture from the Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York


Arts Council Exhibition of Sculpture in the Collection, Hayward Gallery, London


British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century, Whitechapel Gallery, London


Artists working for the ILEA, Royal Academy of Arts, London


Sculpture Out of Doors, André Emmerich Gallery, New York


Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London (and annually from 1991 to 1998)


The Sixties Art Scene in London, Barbican Art Gallery, London


A Ilha Do Tesouro / Treasure Island, Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão, Lisbon


Colour Sculptures: Britain in the Sixties, Waddington Galleries, London


Welded Sculpture of the Twentieth Century, Neuberger Museum of Art, State University of New York, Purchase, New York


Breaking the Mould: 20th Century British Sculpture from Tate, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich


Blast to Freeze: British Art in the 20th Century, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany


Art & the 60s: This Was Tomorrow, Tate Britain, London


New Generation Revisited: British Sculpture from the Sixties and Seventies, New Art Centre, Roche Court, Wiltshire


Sculpture in the Sixties, Pangolin London, London

Colour is, Waddington Custot, London

Kaleidoscope: Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art, Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

PUBLIC COLLEC TIONS Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Arts Council Collection British Council Collection Leicestershire City Council Museum of Modern Art, New York Nagaoka Kesaichi Memorial Gallery, Kanra-machi, Japan Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan National Museums of Northern Ireland Tate


Peterborough Development Corporation and the Arts Council for the Orton Centre, Peterborough


Prizewinner, WH Smith Swindon Competition for Mobile Sculpture


Prizewinner, BP sculpture competition

British Airways Odyssey Business Park, Northolt, Greater London


Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester


Tetra Pak UK, Stockley Park, Greater London


Euston Tower, London


CASS Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood Sculpture Park, Chichester

I would like to acknowledge Frank Martin, former Head of Sculpture at St Martin’s, who supported me in every way until he retired in 1980; Tony Caro, who was a dear friend and teacher, and Ken Noland who always encouraged me to bridge painting and sculpture and whose skill with colour was a revelation to me. I could go on but without these three these sculptures would never have been made. To bring it up to date, Benson Sedgwick Engineering and Rupert and Mel for the painting – David Annesley, October 2017.

David Annesley Kurumidza 16 November 2017 – 6 January 2018

Waddington Custot 11 Cork Street, London W1S 3LT +44 20 7851 2200 Monday to Friday 10 am – 6 pm Saturday 10 am– 4 pm Designed by Praline: Al Rodger and David Tanguy Printed by Gavin Martin Colournet pp.10–5 Photography by Martin Koretz © Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery Archive 21.8.63, 84 x 100 ins, acrylic on canvas and 20.11.63, 84 x 84 ins, acrylic on canvas. © Estate of John Hoyland Crest and Hidden Squares. © Bridget Riley 2017. All rights reserved

© Peter Phillips. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2017 © Phillip King. All rights reserved, DACS 2017 pp.24–5 Service Title: Air Publication 1979A, Cadet’s Handbook of Elementary Flying Training, 1st Edition, April 1943, issued by Command of the Air Council Elementary Flying Training, issued by the Air Ministry, London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office All artworks © David Annesley, 2017 © Waddington Custot, London, 2017 Published by Waddington Custot Co-ordinated by Jessica Ramsay ISBN 978-0-9955490-6-7

David Annesley: Kurumidza  
David Annesley: Kurumidza