NSK State’s Peter Blase plus Henry Moore Indoors

Peter Blase at CHELSEA space

The NSK State artist Peter Blase came to visit Neue Slowenische Kunst 1984-1992 at CHELSEA space this week. Peter is currently showing some excellent work in the exhibition NSK Folk Art at Calvert 22 gallery as part of the London-wide co-operation on Neue Slowenische Kunst between CHELSEA space, Calvert 22 and Tate Modern.

Peter Blase's NSK State passport

When he arrived, Peter presented his NSK State passport which was duly stamped by artist and CHELSEA space Research Fellow Manca Bajec. NSK State In Time is a virtual state and a worldwide collective of over fourteen thousand citizens. It was formed in 1992 and held its first Citizens Congress in Berlin in 2010. Peter’s passort is filled with incredible NSK and Laibach related stamps from concerts, exhibitions, bookshops etc from all over the world. For those who are interested in becoming a citizen of NSK State it is possible to apply for a passport from the NSK State Information Office in Ljubljana.

Peter Blase 'NSK Sledge' 2011 at Calvert 22. courtesy IRWIN

Peter Blase’s NSK Sledge 2011 is a multi-media sculpture based around a rescue sledge a vehicle that he describes as grounded but in flux “moving the Suprematist body in time”, the torso on the sledge “represents all NSK State citizens of all ages and all sexes”.

Peter Blase 'NSK Sledge' 2011 - detail

The work, in keeping with IRWIN/NSK visual language, references particular symbols, art and artists – the black slate at the top relates to IRWIN, a star references Jasper Johns, in the centre is a copper cross on a felt square, a synthesis of Malevich and Beuys,  the detail above shows a box containing a self portrait of Ute Klophaus, a well known photographer of Joseph Beuys.

artist Bruce McLean strikes a pose with Chelsea's Henry Moore 'Two Piece Reclining Figure #1' 1959

We were delighted at CHELSEA space to read the Guardian newspaper’s headline on the 5th April ” Henry Moore sculptures head into great indoors for exhibition”  reporting that Gagosian Gallery are taking Moore sculptures normally shown outside and bringing them into a gallery.

Henry Moore 'Two Piece Reclining Figure #1' 1959 installed at CHELSEA space in May 2010

 In 2010  we showed Moore’s sculpture Two Part Reclining Figure #1 1959 inside CHELSEA space for a show entitled Don’t Do Any More Henry Moore .

Henry Moore (centre) helps technicians install his sculpture at Chelsea School of Art in 1964

The sculpture was bought from Henry Moore by Chelsea School of Art and was installed outside the school’s new building in Manresa Road in 1964.

installation view of 'Don't Do Any More Henry Moore' at CHELSEA space in 2010

Two Piece Reclining Figure #1 had been exhibited at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park whilst Chelsea College of Art and Design was moving from its former site in Manresa Road, Chelsea, to its new home next to Tate Britain at Millbank. CHELSEA space planned to exhibit the sculpture whilst it was effectively still in transit, on wooden pallets,covered with blankets and tied down.

'Two Part Reclining Figure #1' at Chelsea School of Art c.1965

The sculpture was surrounded by framed items from Chelsea’s archive documenting the sculpture’s acquisition and various movements from its permanent home to exhibitions at the Tate Gallery London (1968) and the Jeu de Paume in Paris (1996).

CHELSEA space's Alicia de Toro enjoys a more intimate perspective of a major sculpture

Our aim was to give some insights into the processes and machinations around artworks that we normally only see in their final display context.

Chris Stephens at the CHELSEA space private view. Chris was curator of the 2010 Henry Moore Exhibition at Tate Britain which ran concurrently with the CHELSEA space show on the other side of Atterbury Street

Talking of the forthcoming Gagosian show in the Guardian, Director Mark Francis said “You’ll be able to see the sculptures much more viscerally and close up. If you see them in the English landscape it associates them with a Britishness which is part of Henry Moore, but not the whole part.” Albeit on a much smaller scale, we hope that CHELSEA space achieved this up close  and visceral experience in 2010.

actor and writer Dudley Sutton recites his poem 'Don't Do Any More Henry Moore' in a video by David Barnett made especially for the exhibition at CHELSEA space

The title Don’t Do Any More Henry Moore came from a poem by the actor and writer Dudley Sutton and is a lament for the bad back of an art handler who moves heavy sculptures for the Tate Gallery, the professionalisation of art handling and the equipment used was one of the themes  in the CHELSEA space  exhibition revealed in a chronological series of photographs from 1964-2010. Don’t Do Any More Henry Moore was also the title of a song by the artist and musician George Melly, a reworking of the poular music hall song of 1926 Don’t have any more Mrs Moore made popular by the singer Lily Morris.

Henry Moore's 'Two Piece Reclining Figure #1' 1959 in its new location at Millbank

Henry Moore Late Large Forms is at Gagosian Gallery, 6-24 Brittania Street, London WC1  from May 31st – August 18th.