Location: 60 Threadneedle Street. Bank, London
Type: Solo Exhibition: A collection of new sculpture in the foyer of the Eric Parry designed building on the site of the old stock exchange
Publication: The Spectator
Author: Andrew Lambirth
Article Text: As the boundary between auction house and art dealer blurs yet further, with auctioneers acting increasingly by private treaty as well as taking over commercial galleries, and as West End gallery space becomes ever more expensive, alternative exhibiting venues are being sought with growing urgency. One solution is to move further into corporate territory, and Charles Hadcock (born 1965) is currently doing just that with an exhibition of his latest sculptures in the foyer of 60 Threadneedle Street in the City. There are a number of Hadcock’s monumental organic-abstract sculptures already on permanent display in London, from Canary Wharf to Chiswick Mall (his twisting, leaping forms are among the few contemporary public sculptures that add to the aesthetic richness of our streets), and this summer his new work may be seen 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a metropolitan location. The group of large and small sculptures in bronze and aluminium is set out to good effect in this massive, glass-fronted office foyer, carefully placed for maximum clarity of impact.
Hadcock’s originality as a sculptor lies in the very particular fusion of engineering skills, mathematical fluency and passion for music and poetry that he brings to his approach. Music is not just an inspiration and delight, its structures are echoed in his sculptural thinking, while his engineering background makes him unafraid to show how a thing is made.
Thus, often in his work engineered components are bolted together and yet the overall impression will be just as much organic as abstract. His forms relate to water turbines and seashells, rock surfaces and moulded polystyrene packaging, ammonites and fir cones. He enjoys the metaphorical as much as the literal twist, while torsion and torque are ideas fundamental to his formal vocabulary. The show features five substantial new pieces, like planets composed of interlocking spatulate fingers or spaceships of coagulated arrowheads; the fragmentary reunited in intriguing new harmonies. I particularly liked the ‘Hexad’ series, with their strong cast textures, and the white aluminium ‘Heptad’. Of the smaller works, some of the maquetts are especially beguiling, such as ‘Maquette for Hexad I’ and ‘Maquette for Caesura VIII’. With this exhibition, Hadcock confirms his place as one of the most consistently inventive of our younger sculptors.