Summer Show 1 : Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
The first of the Serpentine Gallery’s exhibitions for the summer 1971 programme featured artists Fred Brookes, David Hepher, David Hurn, Stuart Mealing, Nick Wyndham.
The extended title of this exhibition was Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519): Fred Brookes (1943-), David Hepher (1936-), David Hurn (1935-), Stuart Mealing (1947-), Nick Wyndham (1944-).
It was the first of the Serpentine Gallery’s exhibitions for the summer programme of 1971, all of which carried playful titles relating contemporary artists to major figures from art history. During the Serpentine Gallery’s second year, the Department of Environment added a fifth gallery to the existing four. This became the Print Gallery and was intended as an intimate setting for the work of photographers and printmakers. It also served as a centre where visitors could find information about the current exhibitions, as well as about other Arts Council activities.
For this exhibition David Hurn showed his works in the Print Gallery, including Drag Ball and Queensway. Other recent works displayed included Fred Brookes’ 150 Blocks and Nick Wyndham’s structures such as File, Alp, Ozone and Spearmint.
Wyndham wrote in the catalogue that: ‘The aim behind these structures was to create sculpture whose forms should be the reason why it stood up, and no more. In the first experiments, gravity acted on rigid and flexible components. Then I added elastic, and the result was a mechanism (now patented) that would operate independent of gravity. To fit my workspace, means and available transport, the pieces had also to be light, quick-assembly collapsibles.’