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Robert Adams

The British sculptor Robert Adams (1917-1984) had his first solo exhibition in London in 1947 at Gimpel Fils. His early work, like the Mother and Child illustrated below, showed the influence of Henry Moore. In the late 1940s he made several visits to Paris, where he saw the work of Brancusi and Julio González. In 1950, a Rockefeller award ennabled him to visit the USA, and in 1951 he was commissioned to produce a large carving for the Festival of Britain.

In 1952, Adams first exhibited at the Venice Biennale and again (with a retrospective exhibition) in 1962. He taught at the Central School of Arts andCrafts in London, and also undertook many major commissions throughout his working life in Europe and the United States. Adams worked with welded metal from around 1949, making abstract sculptures 'based on the interplay of angular or circular forms found in nature'. He came to be grouped with artists such as Kenneth Armitage, Lynn Chadwick and Reg Butler - their work summarised by Herbert Read as 'the geometry of fear'.


Mother and Child - Details

Mother and Child 1948
31 inches high
Carved wood

Private collection