ExhibitionThoroughly Modern Dora - Group show based on the life, times, and works of the sculptor Dora Gordine18th August to 17th Spetember 2010Curated by Jolanta Jagiello
This group show is inspired by the life, times, and work of sculptor Dora Gordine (1895-1991). Born in Lativia, described as a Russian-Jewess-Sculptress, she moved to Paris in 1924 taking inspiration from the French sculptor Maillol. In 1928, her first London show astounded the critics, Amazing Studies By Girl Sculptor followed by No girl of her age made bronzes of such expressive character and sculptural quality in our day. Dora Gordine was an unconventional Modernist sculptor of considerable talent and international renown, a fact that was recognised during her heyday by leading contemporary critics in France, Germany and Britain, who went so far as to write that she was very possibly becoming the finest woman sculptor in the world. She primarily drew her inspiration from the heads of Hindu divinities, who she observed possessed, a great static quality and convey a deep sense of peace and inner tranquillity. Qualities she applied to one of her most famous portrait heads - The Chinese Philosopher Chia-Chu Chang.
When Gordine set sail for Singapore in 1930s, she spent the next four-half years in the State of Johore where she married her first husband Dr George Garlick. Her time spent in South-east Asia, focused her sculpture on the ideal form found in Indian sculpture, with its ease, natural, warmth, and abundance of life and love. She opposed the standardised beauty found in Greek Sculpture or the need to impress the mind by suppressing the body found in Christian Sculpture. She returned to London in 1936, married Right Hon. Richard Hare and they designed and built Dorich House, which is now a museum owned by Kingston University. The British sculptor Anthony Caro described her as, ...an ambitious artist and her work has strength...It may not seem so very extraordinary to us nowadays, but when we place her work against that of much more successful academic sculptors of the time it is a million miles better.
This group show is a tribute to this charismatic, talented, imperious, intensely hard-working, highly ambitious artist, qualities which simply make her - A Thoroughly Modern Dora. The following artists are participating: Nick Baelz, Megan Broadmeadow, Deborah Gardner, Lorraine Clarke, Jolanta Jagiello, Patricia Leigh, Jayne Lloyd, Debora Mo, Belinda Opie, Julia Peat, Jill Rock, Sumi and Suda Perera, Sara Scott, Jeremy Turner. The quotes and images used throughout the texts are from Dora Gordine, Sculptor, Artist, Designer by Jonathan Black and Brenda Martin, published by Philip Wilson.