David Annesley at Waddington Custot


Annesley’s large, metal sculptures drew upon the artist’s own physical experience flying as a RAF pilot. The monumental vibrant works convey a sense of lightness and movement and expand into the surrounding space outlined by their lines. Annesley’s first-ever solo exhibition was at Waddington Galleries in 1966. This 2017 exhibition, looking back to Annesley’s works from the 1960s, brings these seminal sculptures to the fore and reassesses them from a contemporary viewpoint.

Running until 6 January 2018 Waddington Custot reasseses Annesley’s work.  The exhibition features a selection of Annesley’s celebrated large-scale, geometric colour sculpture from the 1960s, shown alongside more recent table-top sculptures which examine key ideas in his oeuvre including colour, lightness and movement of his earlier work.

Annesley’s 1960s welded steel and aluminium sculptures retain a delicacy of structure. He used colour to suggest the idea of dynamism and weightlessness in his sculptures, believing that colour opened up ‘a whole new way of articulating and realising feeling in sculpture’. This is evident in ‘Untitled’ (1968–1969), a circle contained within a triangular shape set in a larger circle, where Annesley’s use of complementary light blue and green tones disguise the mass of the material and convey a sense of lightness. The artist Kenneth Noland, who was a close friend, saw Annesley’s sculptures as the extension of colour field painting: as painting got flatter, Annesley saw the potential of sculpture to take colour to another dimension.

Image: Installation view of (from left) Loquat, 1965; Untitled, 1968-9; and Untitled, 1969, all by David Annesley at Waddington Custot. Courtesy of Waddington Custot.