Robert Adams

(1917 - 1984)

Robert Adams began his artistic studies at the Northampton School of Art (1933-1944). During the 1940’s he visited Paris, an experience that had a profound effect of the young artist, whilst there he met Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) and Henri Laurens (1885-1954), both of whom proved to be influential. During the War he worked as an engineer and following this experience he spent two years learning how to sculpt in wood, plaster and stone.

Adams took a teaching post at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London where he learnt to weld. From 1951-1956 Adams befriended and exhibited with Victor Pasmore (1908-1998), Adrian Heath (1920-1992), Kenneth Martin (1905-1984) and Mary Martin (1907-1969). The group were interested in forming relationships between art and architecture; their values were, for the most part, Constructivist.

Adams had several solo shows at Gimpel Fils between 1947 and 1962. His work of the 60’s consisted of welded pieces of steel sheets and rods that echoed those of other post-war British sculptors such as Kenneth Armitage, CBE (1916-2002) Lynn Chadwick, CBE (1914-2003) and Reg Butler (1913-1981). He received various commissions throughout his career that included pieces for schools, banks, churches and even the P&O Liner SS Canberra and a three metre high carving for the Festival of Britain, in 1951.

Although primarily a sculptor, Robert Adams also made a number of paintings and drawings, many of which related to the three dimensional pieces he constructed. However, from the 1970’s until his death he concentrated on his bronze casts and steel structures, one of which can be seen at Kingswell in Hampstead, London.