Past Events

The Horizontal, From Westminister Abbey to Keith Arnatt

Lecture – Penelope Curtis

  • 26 January 2015
  • 6:30 – 7:30 pm
  • Sainsbury Theatre, National Gallery, London

This lecture begins with the effigy and looks at the way in which it has informed sculptural language more widely. Moving on to the recumbent form as developed in Renaissance and Classical funerary sculpture and then by Henry Moore, the lecture looks more broadly at sculpture’s tendency to embrace the ground as a place of rest, as many contemporary sculptors have shown.

Reclining woman in drapped fabric

Water Nymph, Stourhead, Somerset

Digital image courtesy of National Trust

About the speaker

  • A woman wearing purple top with arms crossed

    In 1988 Penelope Curtis joined the new Tate Gallery in Liverpool as Exhibitions Curator. In 1994 she moved to the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, where as curator, she was responsible for a programme of historical and contemporary sculpture exhibitions, collections building in sculpture and archives, and research activity including events, fellowships and publications. In 2010 she took up the role of Director at Tate Britain, before leaving in 2015 to move to the prestigious Calouste Gulbenkian museum in Lisbon.

    She has written widely on 20th-century British sculpture, on European art and architecture of the inter-war years, and on many contemporary sculptors including Thomas Schütte, Gerard Byrne and Isa Genzken. She is author of Sculpture 1900-1945: After Rodin (OUP, 1999) and Patio and Pavilion: The place of sculpture in Modern Architecture (Ridinghouse, 2007).