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Michael Rizzello Sculpture Exhibition Opens At Mall Galleries

Posted by: Creativematch | Date added: Tue 08 Mar 2005

On April 12th 2005. Darcey Bussell to unveil artist’s final labour of love at retrospective for sculptor of Royals and Mandela.

A fascinating sculpture exhibition will open at the Mall Galleries in London on April 12th 2005 and run for 10 days until April 20th. It features the work of sculptor Michael Rizzello O.B.E. (1926-2004) who had a global following including royal families, major collectors and international governments. Despite many opportunities, he chose to remain resolutely out of the public eye and the gallery system throughout a remarkable career, until his death in 2004.

This free exhibition will be one of the most significant displays of sculpture seen in London for some years and provide a unique insight into the mind and methodology of this master sculptor.

In the Main Gallery:
• A powerful portrait of the young freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, which stands in the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg and at the TUC headquarters in London as an inspiration to the oppressed. It forms a fascinating contrast to his later and more benign portrait of Mandela as a free statesman
• Sensitive figurative works including a bust of noted ballerina Darcey Bussell, whose balletic movements are also captured in a fine figurine
• Portraits of the notable British figures who flocked to Rizzello, including trade union leader Clive Jenkins; Crossrail chairman Sir Christopher Benson, the late Lord Chief Justice Peter Taylor; Lord Sainsbury of Preston-Candover; and writer Ken Follett.

In the East Gallery:
• The official Memorial to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother which is installed at St George’ Chapel, Windsor Castle and Sandringham Castle; and the Memorial to Princess Margaret for The Royal Ballet.
• The Royal Mint is providing rarely seen archive material of Rizzello‘s key numismatic works, including the current Conspicuous Gallantry Cross which is today awarded to Britain’s armed forces in some of the world’s most troubled spots.
• Numerous medals and coins including the medal commemorating the Investiture of HRH Prince Charles the Prince of Wales; the United Nations UK £2 coin; and the official ingot commemorating the visit of Pope John Paul II, featuring a dual portrait with HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Rizzello’s last personal sculpture was a massive and heroic golden bronze male torso measuring 1.2m high and weighing a quarter of a metric tonne.  It will be unveiled at the show by Darcey Bussell, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, and will dominate the Main Gallery, which features many works previously unseen outside his studio. In all he left a legacy of over 500 sculptures, myriad drawings, and coin and medal designs for over 100 countries.

Visitors will have a rare chance to see inside the creative sculpture and design process. Rizzello was a keeper of tradition in sculpture, much like his teacher Frank Dobson. His work betrays a deep passion for drawing, anatomy, perspective and life observation. He was one of the last of a generation who used techniques for modelling and moulding which were developed by old masters over centuries. Rizzello was highly unusual in that he often photographed the use of these techniques and the development of his work, giving this exhibition unusual depth.

Rizzello’s work appears all over the globe and in major collections including that of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Lord Sainsbury, and the Astor family. His UK public statuary is highly visible, including a bust of Sir Thomas Beecham installed at the Royal Opera House and the Royal Festival Hall; the Welsh National Memorial to Lloyd George at Cardiff, Wales; the portrait roundel of Nancy Astor MP at the House of Commons; a memorial to Edward Jenner at the St George’s Hospital, Tooting, and many others around the country.

Rizzello’s studios at Putney remain in operation under the aegis of the sculptor’s daughter. Melrose Studios will continue to make end of edition ranges available to collectors and release lithographic prints of many of the artist’s life and animal drawings. The initial releases will be available to purchase at the exhibition.

Given the global appeal of Rizzello’s work, the exhibition will also exist in virtual webspace, at the website www.michaelrizzello.com

 


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