Tango
Concert Square, Liverpool L1

Picture by Jonathan P. Neill

Sculptor: Allen Jones

Allen Jones is a British artist famous, or perhaps more correctly infamous, for his erotic sculpture set Chair, Table and Hat Stand (1969), each of which turns a woman into an item of furniture. Much of his work draws on the imagery of rubber fetishism. Jones designed the film Maîtresse directed by Barbet Schroeder in 1976 and the sculptures in the Korova Milkbar from the film A Clockwork Orange were based on works by Jones.

Hermaphrodite an oil painting by Jones in The Walker Art Gallery collection dates from 1963. The painting fuses a male and a female figure and is said to express the Jungian notion that truly creative art requires both feminine and masculine characteristics. A number of Jones's prints, sculptures and paintings explore the tension between male and female. This structure is a set of conjoined polychrome steel plates and when viewed from opposite sides it can clearly be seen that it is a female and male form entwined in a tango. Jones's mastery of the three dimensional interlocking plates defies simple analysis. This sculpture is one of several in Liverpool first commissioned for the Garden Festival and positioned there in the summer of 1984 before being moved to its present position in the mid-nineties, when the developer Urban Splash charged its in-house architects Design Shed with revitalising Concert Square.

Sources:
Pevsner Architectural Guides; Liverpool by Joseph Sharples
LiverpoolMuseums.org.uk
phinnweb.org

Alan Maycock © 2008

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