Sculpture like archaeology: You dig in and you find something. John Skeaping
Paul Mellon wrote in the preface to Skeaping’s exhibition of 1979: ‘Suspended motion captured in bronze, marble or stone seems to produce an immediacy of experience untrammelled by the distractions inherent in other visual art forms, which by the nature of their mediums must deal in colours, atmospheres, backgrounds and perspectives. Being three-dimensional and solid, the eye encompasses the object and the action it expresses instantaneously. In the case of John Skeaping, through his understanding of the psychology of animals and his thorough knowledge of anatomy…..their split-seconds of arrested tension, seem caught forever in a kind of crystal clarity.’
John Skeaping was born in Essex and was the son of a painter. He began his artistic training at only thirteen years of age and at nineteen won The Royal Academy Gold Medal Traveling Scholarship. Then four years later, he won the Prix de Rome.
Briefly married to Barbara Hepworth, and friendly with the young Henry Moore, Skeaping is credited with putting the first hole in a sculpture. However, he turned his back on modernism, returning to a more figurative modelling style and the equine and canine subjects that he loved.
In 1964 he became ‘Professor of Sculpture’ at the Royal College of Art and published several books on artistic matters. Skeaping sculpted both animals and figures using a variety of materials, including bronze. He was also an accomplished painter.
His works have been exhibited widely and a large retrospective exhibition of his work was held in London in 1979. During the latter part of his life he lived in the Carmargue, France.
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A fine quality, twentieth century bronze sculpture of an Arab Horse entitled, ‘Cadi’, by John Skeaping RA, English (1901 – 1980). This cast was produced […]