Published  21/07/2012

Early one morning in Whitechapel

Early one morning in Whitechapel

Open until 8 September at the Whitechapel Gallery is a remarkable, groundbreaking show of British contemporary sculpture. This is a revelation of the continuing regeneration of British sculptors, perhaps as important as was the famous ‘New Generation’ of the l960s. But forget it Anthony Caro- this show is not about homage, and dismissive about mere concept art to boot. The show’s title may have been taken from a real masterwork c.l962 by Caro, but these five newly discovered sculptors, notwithstanding the colourful display, are heading in their own directions. The five are Shahin Affrassiabi (b.l969), Claire Barclay (b.l968) Jim Lambie (b.l964) Eva Rothschild (b.l971) and Gary Webb (b.l973). There is enough of hindsight, notwithstanding the exhibition of the New Generation of sculptors, which includes Richard Tucker and Philip King now at Tate Britain. By contrast this newer new talent already shows signs of breaking away from all that precedent, despite curatorial efforts to build that in ‘hommage’. Gary Webb’s combination of a games console that bleeps and a seahorse seems at first incoherent and then coheres itself. The Jamaican flag colouring takes us a long way from presumed mentors. This is now something completely different, as they would say in Monty Python. Watch this space.

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