Join us today to learn about the sculpture and drawings of Frank Dobson, and discover why he has yet to find his rightful position as one of the finest British sculptors of the 20th century. Also, potter Walter Keeler talks about looking at the pots of the past and shows us how he uses extrusion to make his characteristic forms.
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Frank Dobson was born in London on 18 November, 1886. The son of a commercial artist, he showed early promise and won an art scholarship aged eleven. On leaving school at the age of fourteen he became a studio assistant to the sculptor William Reynolds Stevens. He then studied at Hospitalfield Art School in Scotland. His work was influenced by his exposure to the modernist art shown in Roger Fry’s landmark exhibition of 1910-11. After spending World War 1 in the Artists Rifles, he showed his first sculptures in Wyndham Lewis’s 1920 Group X exhibition.
Over the years he moved from his early Cubist-inspired sculpture to a more lyrical style based on the female nude form. He also produced a series of notable portrait busts. His work was praised by Roger Fry as ‘true and pure sculpture’ and the critic Clive Bell described his Cornucopia as ‘the finest piece of sculpture which has been produced by an Englishman’
After World War II he was appointed professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art and awarded the CBE.
Walter Keeler is a British studio potter, born in London in 1942. He attended Harrow School of Art, London where he was trained by Michael Casson. He established his first pottery at Bledlow Bridge, Buckinghamshire in 1965 then moved to his current studio in Penallt Wales, where he lives with his potter wife Madoline. He was professor of Ceramics at the University of the West of England and in 2007 was named Welsh Artist of the Year.
Keeler makes salt glaze pottery influenced by early Staffordshire Creamware. Writer Oliver Watson described him as ‘one of the most important and influential potters of the 1980s’. Keeler’s work is held in a number of public collections including Victoria & Albert Museum, National Museum Wales, American Craft Museum, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA and the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.