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"A Beautiful Disorder" at Cass Sculpture Foundation

The UK's first large-scale contemporary Chinese sculpture exhibition outdoors

by David Graver
on 30 June 2016

About two hours from London, or an hour from Brighton, Cass Sculpture Foundation sprawls across 26 acres of land and features monumental large-scale sculptures on its grounds. Open to the public seven days a week from April through November, the foundation commissions the works found within—and sells them, splits the profit evenly with the artist, and then uses their own share to commission more works. Now, for the first time in its 20+ years of philanthropic work, the foundation has commissioned art from outside the UK, and the resulting show "A Beautiful Disorder" is the largest (and arguably first) showcase of outdoor contemporary Chinese sculpture.

Cass Sculpture Foundation's Development Director Laura Brown shares that the origins of the project hailed from work elsewhere. “We were approached to advise someone looking to develop a sculpture park in China which led our curator to deepen her research into Chinese contemporary sculpture," she explains to CH. "The contemporary sculpture scene in China is incredibly dynamic and it was agreed by our trustees that we should start our international outreach by looking east.”

On site, guests will view a diversity of works, crafted from bronze, wood, steel and stone. The artists were given the historic relationship between the aesthetics of English and Chinese landscapes as a suggested launchpad for inspiration. Among the participants are Cao Fei (designer of the latest BMW art car and presently showcasing at NYC's MoMA PS1) and renowned installation artist Zhao Yao. Shanghai-based artist Xu Zhen, who sometimes works under the moniker MadeIn, also contributes. The 15 other artists have all amassed global recognition for their creations, but together, there's a powerful wave of understanding afoot: this is a broad swath of contemporary Chinese sculpture.

Brown also notes that the Cass Sculpture Foundation makes for an exciting, not-too-distant excursion or day trip. "Cass Sculpture Foundation is set within 26 acres of stunning woodland on the Goodwood estate. A walk around the grounds offers you a chance to interact with up to 60 monumental sculptures—all of which are for sale—from some of the most exciting and important names in British and international contemporary sculpture.” Much in the same way that Storm King functions for New Yorkers, Cass Sculpture Foundation provides a destination of both reprieve and stimulation.

"A Beautiful Disorder" opens 2 July and runs through 6 November 2016 at Cass Sculpture Foundation (New Barn Hill, Goodwood, West Sussex). Entrance costs £12.50 for adults and £6.50 for children. They will be closed, however, 1-2 July due to private events.

Images courtesy of Cass Sculpture Foundation

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