Past Events

The Open, from Martin Creed to Castle Howard

Lecture – Penelope Curtis

  • 9 February 2015
  • 6:30 – 7:30 pm
  • Sainsbury Theatre, National Gallery, London

Sculptors have long based their repertoire on the idea of entrance, deploying the open door as a symbol of arrival and departure. The open form also gives access to the elements, as well as to the senses, and this lecture will look at structures such as temples and grottoes, as well as other kinds of openings, which position their spectator at a threshold which promises transformation.

A large ornate building seen from afar behind green hedgerows

Pwojdacz, Castle Howard,

Digital image courtesy of Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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).