By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

CRITIC'S CHOICE

REVIEW

Pictured above is part of the William Turnbull retrospective currently on show in Feilden Clegg Bradley's 'underground' gallery at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (AJ 19.05.05). Lund Humphries has published Amanda Davidson's The Sculpture of William Turnbull (£45), illustrating more than 300 of his works (mostly in black and white - a shame given the bright paint of his minimalist pieces and the patina of his bronzes).

Along with the Smithsons and the Banhams, in the 1950s Turnbull belonged to the Independent Group, and for the This is Tomorrow exhibition wrote a text that said: 'Architecture is not just something to keep the rain out, or sculpture a traffic obstacle of a general on a horse. It is a force acting on our lives.' He spent time in Paris, where he met Giacometti, whose influence is clear in Turnbull's bronze reliefs of the mid-1950s, which look like maquettes for urban landscapes. He also met Brancusi and, like him, went on to blur the distinction between plinth and art work, turning the former into parts poised one on top of the other, with a strong feeling for the texture of stone, wood and metal.

In the 1960s Turnbull had his eye on the US and made minimalist works in steel or aluminium, often of several units placed rhythmically across the floor, and two more Americans, Rothko and Barnett Newman, come to mind when one sees the atmospheric monochrome canvases that he continues to paint. But Turnbull looked continually to the past as well - at artefacts from both the East and the West.

And, while at times he does not escape his sources, it's the coexistence, sometimes synthesis, of past and present that gives his work - when seen in quantity - its resonance.

I doubt it will ever look better than it does now at the YSP.

There are two new shows at The Lighthouse in Glasgow.

Scandinavian Design Beyond the Myth, until 28 August, aims to question assumptions about post-war Scandinavian design while confirming its significance (www. scandesign. org).

Archiprix International 2005, until 7 August, is the biennial show of the best graduate work in architecture, landscape and design, selected by 200 schools worldwide. Many projects are on the website (www. archiprix. org).

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters