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Léo Caillard dresses Bush House statues as part of The Classical Now exhibition

Classical statues at Bush House dressed in modern attire by artist Leo Caillard as part of King's College London's The Classical Now exhibition, 2 March - 28 April 2018

French artist Léo Caillard has created a new performance installation at Bush House to celebrate King's College London's major international exhibition, The Classical Now.

To the Friendship of the Classical and the Contemporary sees classicising personifications of Britain and America – sculpted by Malvina Hoffman in the early 1920s – re-dressed in contemporary attire.

The title of the work is adapted from the original inscription beneath the statues. 

Caillard is best known for staging witty and provocative dialogues between past and present, and received international acclaim for his "Hipsters in Stone" series. 

The installation has been generously facilitated by Overbury – the national refurbishment specialist, responsible for the renovation of Bush House. King’s College London is also grateful to MACM (Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins) and CCS Jeweltone.

Artist Leo Caillard with Dr Michael Squire in front of Caillard's re-dressed classical statues, part of King's College London's The Classical Now exhibition, 2 March - 28 April 2018
Caillard (r) with Dr Michael Squireacademic lead on the associated ‘Modern Classicisms’ project in the Department of Classics


A significant new international exhibition

The Classical Now, a major exhibition pairing the work of modern and contemporary artists with classical Greek and Roman antiquities, will be on display at King’s College London from 2 March until 28 April 2018. Presented in partnership with the award-winning Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins (MACM), the exhibition traces the ways in which Graeco-Roman art has captured and permeated the modern imagination.

The exhibition will examine classical presences in the works of twentieth-century artists such as Pablo Picasso and Yves Klein, and leading contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Alex Israel, Louise Lawler, Grayson Perry and Rachel Whiteread. The show explores the myriad continuities and contrasts between the ancient, modern and contemporary, revealing the 'classical' as a living and fluid tradition.

The Classical Now is staged across two spaces at King’s, the Inigo Rooms in the East Wing of Somerset House, and the Arcade at Bush House – a new space for exhibitions and events at King’s College London. Public access to The Arcade is via the Strand entrance. Admission is free.