Bill Woodrow RA

Art

Sculpture

Royal Academy of Arts Burlington Gardens

Until Sun Feb 16

Bill Woodrow RA, 'The Glass Jar', 1983 © the artist

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David Taylor

Liked his earlier 'Cut Outs' fom 70's & early 80's but from then on apart from his moody bronze sculptures I feel poor old Bill has lost the 'UUUMMPPHH' and the humour that prevailed in his earlier works! The 'Bee Hive ' thingies were pathetic like a drunken artist feeling sorry for nature in a kind of pre distraught sort of a way; but you could say he was prescience in this manner as the bees are disparu! There was a surrealist quality to one of the pieces "Beekeeper and Four Hives' which I took to as it had an isolationist quality to it and a kind of metronomic doll quality too! The Upturned Jaguar on poles in bronze with the surface of a cartoon box was the highlight for me as it held my gaze as it was so sad and yet beautiful! His latest work is not worth mentioning apart from the cubist blur gorilla which had a pathetic yet humorous quality of old. 3 out of 5 points star show!

Curated London

This retrospective covers the work of sculptor and Royal Academician Bill Woodrow from his origins in the 1970s through to the present day. His earlier work, and probably that which he is best known for, uses found materials (particularly from scrap yards) to create elaborate sculptures. Later works feature consumer goods, liberally dissected with their innards displayed like anatomical subjects. The curators present the sculptures in chronological order, showing a clear development in style and technique. More recent and contemporary works have seen Woodrow explore the use of bronze and other materials to excellent effect, with some beautiful, stand-out pieces. Bill Woodrow has been a force for change in the British art world, so much so that the non-traditional approach he championed has become commonplace. This exhibition, taken at face value, lacks the wow factor it would have had thirty years ago, but it will appeal to contemporary art buffs who will appreciate the context. For more of the latest arts reviews, check out www.curatedlondon.co.uk