The purpose-built 19th-century Sculpture Gallery at Chatsworth contains two important reclining sculptures: Filippo Albacini’s ‘Achilles’ (1825) and Antonio Canova’s ‘Endymion’ (1819 – 22).

British artist, designer, and multidisciplinary creative director Samuel Ross responds to these lively-seeming but inert bodies, with works in stone and steel that are related to his biographical experience. He grew up in modernist housing estates in Brixton and the East Midlands, and remains fascinated by the utopian promise of these buildings, but also their blind spots, which he tries to illuminate.
They are made partly of marble, like the classical sculptures around them, and partly of steel, powder-coated in bright orange, which reflects Ross’ interest in modernism.

In modernism, there was a preference for the industrial over the antique and the abstract over the figurative. Here at Chatsworth, the priorities are the other way around. Ross embraces it all, creating a hybrid style that is vividly new.

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Image of Samuel Ross and 'Amnesia or Platelet Apparition?', courtesy of Friedman Benda and Samuel Ross, photography by Oliver Matich

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