Bill Woodrow, Nigel Hall and David Mach were responsible for this room, which is largely devoted to sculpture. ‘What you’re trying to do’, explains Woodrow, ‘is show everything you’ve got in the best possible light, and what you’ve got to work with is produced by the selection process. So when you’re making a choice it helps to have some idea of what you’re looking for.’
Though full of a variety of sculpture in many shapes and sizes, the Lecture Room gives the impression of space. ‘It’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle,’ says Woodrow. ‘We’ve had to fit one piece in with another while allowing each work to speak out in its own voice.’ The most attention-grabbing of the two-dimensional exhibits are the four collages made with coloured picture postcards by David Mach. There’s huge diversity here, from Nicola Hicks’s Lovely, a boy on horseback in rough-surfaced plaster, to Ivor Abrahams’s huge and colourful Cubist tower, with John Maine’s massive cone-shaped object in granite somewhere in between. Nigel Hall’s immaculately crafted minimal shapes are much in evidence, too.
Some of the most attractive sculptures are quite small. Kabir Hussain’s painted bronze garlic bulbs are life-sized, amazingly realistic and shouldn’t be overlooked. Nor should Allen Jones’s thrillingly simplified sumo wrestler (surprisingly, his only contribution to the exhibition in any medium). Toby Christian’s giant white paddle is intriguingly deadpan. And the red organic object on the floor, by Carole Andrews, looks as light as a scarlet flower or a mushroom until you realise it’s made from marble resin and must therefore be very heavy. Arguably the most impressive of all the smaller works here are the objects in painted PVC by Phillip King. Reminiscent of Russian Constructivism, they’re the work of an outstanding sculptor on top form.