Thoroughly Modern Dora
A Group Exhibition curated by Jolanta Jagiello
18 August – 18 September 2009
This group show is inspired by the life, times, and work of sculptor Dora Gordine (1895-1991). Born in Lativa, this ‘Russian-Jewess-Sculptress’ moved to Paris in 1924 taking inspiration from the French sculptor Maillol. In 1928, her first London show astounded the critics: ‘Amazing Studies By Girl Sculptor’ followed by ‘No girl of her age made bronzes of such expressive character and sculptural quality in our day’.
Gordine set sail for Singapore in 1930s, and spent the next four-half years in the State of Johore where she married her first husband Dr George Garlick. Her time spent in South-east Asia, focused her sculpture on the ideal form found in Indian sculpture with its ease, natural, warmth, and abundance of life and love. She opposed the standardised beauty found in Greek Sculpture or the need to impress the mind by suppressing the body found in Christian Sculpture.
She returned to London in 1936, married Right Hon. Richard Hare and they designed and built Dorich House, which is now a museum owned by Kingston University. The British sculptor Anthony Caro described her as: “… an ambitious artist and her work has strength. … It may not seem so very extraordinary to us nowadays, but when we place her work against that of much more successful academic sculptors of the time it is a million miles better”. This group show is a tribute to this charismatic, talented, imperious, intensely hard-working, highly ambitious artist, qualities which simply make her – A Thoroughly Modern Dora.
Jolanta Jagiello J.Jagiello@mdx.ac.uk