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ROBERT ADAMSBritish 1917 - 1984

George Dannatt Collection

ROBERT ADAMSBritish 1917 - 1984

Having studied at Northampton School of Art, Robert Adams developed his Constructivist works after encountering Victor Pasmore and the London Group of artists through his teaching post at the Central School of Art & Design in London from 1949. A series of one-man shows and the sustained attention of Charles and Peter Gimpel established Adams as one of the leading young sculptors in England by 1951.

Constructed from balanced relations of geometric forms, Adams’ work demonstrated the concerns of a generation of post-War British sculptors. The artist was part of the ‘Geometry of Fear’ group – a name coined by critic Herbert Read – whose work was shown at the 1952 Venice Biennale. In Descending Forms, the welded brass rod and strip sculptures shown in Venice emerge in planar form to configure a work consistent with Adam’s exploration of asymmetric balance.

As opposed to the direct carvers Moore and Hepworth and fellow Constructivists including Reg Butler, Adams’ work of the 1950s has often been read as entirely abstracted. Although it is possible to read an organic, plant-like form in Descending Forms, the work is better understood as primarily architectural: a clear demonstration of the artist’s meticulous investigation of space.