Over a period of 10 years from 1905 to 1915, three outstanding young sculptors emerged in Britain; Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Eric Gill. The radical impact of their work was to transform British sculpture.
This exhibition is the first time that the three artists have been shown together in this revolutionary context and many of the works have not been exhibited in London before.
The exhibition contains more than 90 works featuring mainly sculptures, drawings and pastels. With rooms dedicated to the work of each sculptor the exhibition focuses on the key achievements of each artist and reveals their impact on British sculpture. The show brings together spectacular works, including Epstein’s robotic masterpiece Rock Drill, Gaudier-Brzeska’s innovative carving of Birds Erect, and Gill’s controversial carving of the sexual act called Ecstasy.
The title of this exhibition is taken from the American poet Ezra Pound, who vividly remembered meeting Henri Gaudier-Brzeska for the first time in 1913. Pound was impressed by the young Frenchman, and likened him to “a well-made young wolf or some soft-moving, bright-eyed wild thing.” But those last two words also sum up the feisty and daring spirit of rebellion driving the young Jacob Epstein and Eric Gill.
This unprecedented exhibition explores the body of work executed by the three sculptors and draws on the major themes that impressed upon the men, namely sex, fertility, the human condition, the machine age and the impact of war.