Towards a New Laocoon

The antique group sculpture depicting the Trojan priest Laocoon and his two sons being attacked by snakes was excavated in Rome in 1506 and almost immediately put on show in the Vatican. Since that time artists and writers have succumbed to its fascination, and its inspirational quality is the subject of this Henry Moore Institute exhibition which looks at Laocoon through a British lens, focusing on juxtapositions of seven works from the 18th and 20th centuries.

This exhibition invites the audience to think again about the formal fascination of the Laocoon group and reveals its appeal for recent British sculptors – Eduardo Paolozzi, Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon – in terms of its intertwined forms, drama and suspense, and examines other moments of historical interaction.

Published to accompany the exhibition Towards a New Laocoon 13 May –12 August 2007 at the Henry Moore Institute.

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