LONDON.- Pangolin London
, one of the leading galleries dedicated to sculpture, has announced that it will represent the artist estate of the late Ralph Brown (1928-2013). The gallery has had an ongoing relationship with the artist, both exhibiting his work and casting it at their affiliated foundry Pangolin Editions, but until now representation had not been exclusive. The announcement coincides with a memorial exhibition of seminal works to be held at the gallery between 28th February and 29th March 2014.
Ralph Brown was born in Leeds in 1928 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest figurative sculptors of his generation. As a younger contemporary of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, Brown also attended the Leeds College of Art and then went on to the Royal College of Art. Admired by both contemporaries and critics, he rose to prominence in the 1950s and enjoyed a career which spanned over six decades.
Following study under Frank Dobson, John Skeaping and Leon Underwood and two formative visits to Paris in the early 1950s, Browns work began to attract critical acclaim. After this his sculpture started being exhibited alongside leading sculptors including Kenneth Armitage, William Turnbull and Eduardo Paolozzi. In 1955 Henry Moore, who became his friend and patron, purchased his work Mother and Child. His breakthrough however, came in 1959 when he was commissioned to create the now iconic sculpture Meat Porters for Harlow New Town, Essex gaining him national recognition.
Browns hand-modelled, sensuous figures were strikingly original in an age of carved, angular forms. Sometimes shocking and fierce in their inclusion of graphic imagery, his sculptures are nonetheless humanist in quality. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, when abstraction prevailed in British sculpture, Ralph Brown remained faithful to the human figure and he has long stood out among his contemporaries as one of the most accomplished sculptors of human form.
Brown was elected a Royal Academician in 1972 and his work can be found in many public collections including the Arts Council of Great Britain, Bristol City Art Gallery, Leeds City Art Gallery, The National Museum of Wales and the Tate Collection, London.
The last solo exhibition of his work held at Pangolin in 2009 was entitled Ralph Brown RA at 80: Early Decades Revisited, which examined his rise to renown and continued development in the 1950s and 60s.
Director of Pangolin London Polly Bielecka comments: Ralph Browns approach to representing the figure was unique sensuous yet striking, beautiful yet unsettling. Despite being represented in many high profile collections Ralphs work has been largely overlooked in the past decade so we are delighted to be representing his estate and working towards re-establishing his place as one of Britains most committed post war sculptors of the female form.