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3B Series 1 Sculpture

A Grade II Listed Building in Wainbody, Coventry

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Latitude: 52.3779 / 52°22'40"N

Longitude: -1.5607 / 1°33'38"W

OS Eastings: 429999

OS Northings: 275629

OS Grid: SP299756

Mapcode National: GBR H2Z.1L

Mapcode Global: VHBX3.WHSG

Plus Code: 9C4W9CHQ+5P

Entry Name: 3B Series 1 Sculpture

Listing Date: 19 January 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1431460

Location: Coventry, CV4

County: Coventry

Electoral Ward/Division: Wainbody

Built-Up Area: Coventry

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Westwood St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

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3B Series No.1, a welded steel sculpture of 1968 by Bernard Schottlander, is sited in the courtyard in front of the Rootes Residential Building at the University of Warwick, Coventry.


3B Series No.1, a welded steel sculpture of 1968 by Bernard Schottlander, is sited in the courtyard in front of the Rootes Residential Building at the University of Warwick, Coventry.

This geometrical sculpture of welded mild steel is painted a bright red and is approximately 2.6m high and 4.8m wide and 2.5m deep. It comprises three rectangular pillars varying in height, interacting with three differently sized hollow rings. The weld marks have been removed, leaving a seamless form. The sculpture has no plinth and stands directly on the ground.


The period after 1945 saw a shift from commemorative sculpture and architectural enrichment to the idea of public sculpture as a primarily aesthetic contribution to the public realm. Sculpture was commissioned for new housing, schools, universities and civic set pieces, with the counties of Hertfordshire, London and Leicestershire and the new towns leading the way in public patronage. Thus public sculpture could be an emblem of civic renewal and social progress. By the late C20 however, patronage was more diverse and included corporate commissions and Arts Council-funded community art. The ideology of enhancing the public realm through art continued, but with divergent means and motivation.

Visual languages ranged from the abstraction of Victor Pasmore and Phillip King to the figurative approach of Elisabeth Frink and Peter Laszlo Peri, via those such as Lynn Chadwick and Barbara Hepworth who bridged the abstract / representational divide. The post-war decades are characterised by the exploitation of new – often industrial – materials and techniques including new welding and casting techniques, plastics and concrete , while kinetic sculpture and ‘ready mades’ (using found objects) demonstrate an interest in composite forms.

3B Series No. 1 was purchased from Schottlander by the University of Warwick in 1968 with assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain's 'Works for Public Buildings Scheme'. The sculpture is characteristic of Schottlander’s abstract, geometric work during the 1960s. A variation of the sculpture, entitled 3B Series No.2 (c1968) no longer exists, but a model of the sculpture is held in the collection of Leeds City Art Gallery. They were meant to be viewed into the round and from different levels and angles.

Bernard Schottlander (1924–99) was born in Mainz, Germany into a Jewish family of art enthusiasts. He fled Nazi Germany in 1939, arriving at Leeds where he worked in a factory as a welder whilst attending evening classes in sculpture at the Leeds College of Art. After war service, Schottlander became a British citizen in 1946. Subsequently he received a grant to study sculpture at the Anglo-French Centre in St John's Wood, London, followed by a course in Industrial Design at the London County Council's Central School of Arts and Crafts. In 1951 he began his own industrial design workshop, notably creating the ‘Mantis’ series of lamps. In 1963 Schottlander resolved to concentrate solely on sculpture and had his first solo show in 1964 at the Architectural Association in London. He also featured in the group show 'Six Artists' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and had his second solo exhibition in 1966 at the influential Hamilton Galleries. A series of commissions for public outdoor works followed, combining his expertise as maker, industrial designer and sculptor.

Reasons for Listing

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: the welded steel sculpture 3B Series No.1, of 1968 by Bernard Schottlander, standing outside the Rootes Building at the University of Warwick, merits listing at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Artistic interest: scale, colour and geometric shapes are exploited to create a striking and playful piece of outdoor sculpture;

* Historic interest: an important work of the noted sculptor Bernard Schottlander, commissioned by the University of Warwick, a longstanding patron of the arts, and YRM, a highly regarded modernist architect's practice, which is representative of a recurrent theme in his oeuvre of adorning public places, commercial and educational buildings with his art.

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