The third edition of The Nobile Folios explores Linked Figures, a marvellous multilayered bronze conceived early in Kenneth Armitage’s career, yet a work that in many ways captures his complete œuvre. Two figures as one (or perhaps one figure as two) play against each other creating, simultaneously, harmony and discord.
Set alongside Aristophanes’ celebrated speech on the origin of love in Plato’s Symposium, the folio is an audacious attempt to reflect and to recreate on paper the inherent tension of this highly-textured three-dimensional work. It does so by means of bold photography and stimulating layout, and, of course, through the juxtaposition of words. The great Athenian playwright – who thought that originally humans were brawny globular creatures equipped with four hands, four legs, two faces on a circular neck, and comprised of three sexes – creates a magnificent and entertaining backdrop that allows a fresh reading of Linked Figures.
About the Nobile Folios
The Nobile Folios are monographic explorations of 20th- and 21st-century works of art. They are published by Sylph Editions in association with Piano Nobile – a London gallery that specializes in fine quality International, Modern British and Post-War art.
Each publication explores one work, and one work only, overcoming thereby some of the inherent limitations of reproducing great art in print. The Nobile Folios explore the sections of the work and try to replicate something of the experience of seeing it in the flesh.
The juxtaposed texts that form part of The Nobile Folios are informative associations and can represent words that might come to mind when one gazes at the artwork. The association, obvious or oblique, complements our exploration and enhances our experience of it.