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Literary Event, Wed 14 Nov 2018, free entry

Books & Sculpture: Prof. Stephen Bann and William

Books & Sculpture: Prof. Stephen Bann and William


There is a fascinating relationship between books and sculpture, as material objects and vehicles of communication. Turned in the hand and appreciated in slow time, books can often share the same phenomenological properties as sculpture and invite similarly personal engagement.

In a digital age where our attention might be directed more to the screen than the shelf, this new series of conversations, staged in our Research Library, openly invites artists and writers to share their fascination with objects and words, whether highlighting a book’s design or formal qualities, discussing the impact and inspiration of its arguments or reconsidering the ways artists have used books in their work. Attention will be given as much to artists’ books, limited editions and our special collections, as to the growing secondary literature on sculpture, past and present.

Our first conversation, on Wednesday 14 November at 6pm, will be between Prof. Stephen Bann (University of Bristol) and William Allen (independent book dealer and curator). This exchange is an opportunity for Bann and Allen to share their passion for concrete poetry through our Research Library’s collections, including the work of Augusto de Campos (b. 1931), Ken Cox (1927–68), Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006) and _Form 4_ (edited by Philip Steadman and Bann and featuring _Brighton Festival_ (1967) which Bann curated): a significant British magazine of the 1960s concentrating on pure abstraction and through this, art theory, avant-garde magazines etc. At this time Bann also edited the first international anthology of concrete poetry (_Concrete Poetry: an international anthology,_ London Magazine Editions, 1967), notable for being published two months before the now fabled publication _An Anthology of Concrete Poetry _(Something Else Press, 1967) edited by Emmett Williams.

Stephen Bann’s research ranges broadly over issues relating to the representations of history and the dissemination of print images, with a special emphasis on France in the nineteenth century. His work has been widely influential in both these areas, and since 2000 he has held visiting fellowships and appointments at some of most prominent Research Institutes in Europe and America. Since 2008, he has also served as a guest curator for major exhibitions at the National Gallery, London, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon. Having published throughout his career as a critic and historian of modern art, he continues to be active in writing on the work of a number of contemporary artists.

William Allen’s company, William Allen Word & Image, specialises in the works of Ian Hamilton Finlay and Dom Sylvester Houédard (1924–92), as well as having long-standing interests in European and South American avant-gardes, concrete poetry, conceptual art, artists’ books and small press archives. Allen has also curated exhibitions nationally and internationally including _Text + Context_, Espacio El Dorado, Bogotá (2017), _Linguaviagem: A Poesia Concreta Dialogue_, Actual Size, Los Angeles (2016), and _Ken Cox: Poetry Machines_ at CHELSEA Space, London (2015). [http://there%20is%20a%20fascinating%20relationship%20between%20books%20and%20sculpture%2C%20as%20material%20objects%20and%20vehicles%20of%20communication.%20turned%20in%20the%20hand%20and%20appreciated%20in%20slow%20time%2C%20books%20can%20often%20share%20the%20same%20phenomenological%20properties%20as%20sculpture%20and%20invite%20similarly%20personal%20engagement.%20in%20a%20digital%20age%20where%20our%20attention%20might%20be%20directed%20more%20to%20the%20screen%20than%20the%20shelf%2C%20this%20new%20series%20of%20conversations%2C%20staged%20in%20our%20research%20library%2C%20openly%20invites%20artists%20and%20writers%20to%20share%20their%20fascination%20with%20objects%20and%20words%2C%20whether%20highlighting%20a%20book%27s%20design%20or%20formal%20qualities%2C%20discussing%20the%20impact%20and%20inspiration%20of%20its%20arguments%20or%20reconsidering%20the%20ways%20artists%20have%20used%20books%20in%20their%20work.%20attention%20will%20be%20given%20as%20much%20to%20artists%27%20books%2C%20limited%20editions%20and%20our%20special%20collections%2C%20as%20to%20the%20growing%20secondary%20literature%20on%20sculpture%2C%20past%20and%20present.%20our%20first%20conversation%2C%20on%20wednesday%2014%20november%20at%206pm%2C%20will%20be%20between%20prof.%20stephen%20bann%20%28university%20of%20bristol%29%20and%20william%20allen%20%28independent%20book%20dealer%20and%20curator%29.%20this%20exchange%20is%20an%20opportunity%20for%20bann%20and%20allen%20to%20share%20their%20passion%20for%20concrete%20poetry%20through%20our%20research%20library%27s%20collections%2C%20including%20the%20work%20of%20augusto%20de%20campos%20%28b.%201931%29%2C%20ken%20cox%20%281927/]

Coach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopPicnic siteRegional Tourist Board MemberAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencing

Event details

Dates Times
Wed 14 Nov 2018 18:00 to 00:00


Free entry

This event is free of charge and open to all, but booking is advised. For more information please contact Kirstie Gregory, our Research Coordinator.



    74 The Headrow,
    LS1 3AH



    See location of The Henry Moore Institute on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

    Map reference: SE 299338  Lat: 53.79965 Long: -1.54751

    By Road:
    Follow signs for city centre loop system, turn right onto Headrow, then left onto Cookridge Street for parking.

    By Public Transport:
    Turn left out of station, cross over City Square and walk up Park Row. Cross over to Headrow.

    Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Leeds station


    • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
    • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
    • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
    • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
    • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
    • Gift shopGift shop
    • Picnic sitePicnic site
    • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
    • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
    • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing