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Hubert Dalwood Exhibition, Leeds City Art Gallery

I was very proud to attend the opening of an exhibition of my late father's sculpture at Leeds City Art Gallery recently. My father, Hubert Dalwood (known as Nibs), was an influential artist working from the 1950s until his premature death in 1976. It was great to have this show in Leeds where my father worked for a number of years having been awarded a fellowship by Leeds University and then a teaching job at Leeds College of Art. I was brought up in Leeds and went to art school there myself (to be taught by some of his ex-students!)

I've previously posted about my father's work as this exhibition was transferred
The New Art Centre, Roche Court (Wiltshire) (click link for images).
The settings of Leeds City Art Gallery and Roche Court couldn't strike a bigger contrast - the one an imposing Victoria municipal gallery and the other cutting edge contemporary architecture set in undulating parkland - the sculpture looked fantastic in both environments. The Leeds curatorial team did a wonderful job of installing the work and I thought introducing a strip of colour was inspirational.

The folowing text comes from the Roche Court exhibition press release:

Hubert Dalwood was one of the leading post-war British sculptors. In the 1950s and 1960s his work received considerable critical acclaim both at home and abroad, winning prizes and prestigious commissions. Dalwood died in 1976 aged only fifty two, leaving an important legacy of work.

Landscape into Sculpture, an exhibition by the New Art Centre, Roche Court is a display of work by an artist once described by the eminent art critic Norbert Lynton as, ‘one of the most original and inventive minds in the field of modern sculpture’

At the Leeds opening Chris Stephens (exhibitions director, Tate Gallery) gave a brilliantly interesting talk about my father's work. We collaborated with Chris some years ago while he was writing the monograph: The Sculpture of Hubert Dalwood published by the Henry Moore Foundation (still available, click the link). It's a brilliantly researched book and Chris has a unique take on the work.

Seeing so much work altogether, it was really striking how much my father's work constantly developed and changed throughout his career; the sculptures of the early 50s and mid 70s are extremely different. I don't think it's the case that all artists seek new directions in this way and I think a lot of work spanning a career can be very repetitive. I always remember my father telling me that the difference between an amateur and professional artist is that the amateur is usually satisfied with what they have made, whereas the professional artist is always disatisfied and as soon as one piece is finished wants to make a better one!

My father made this aluminium jewellry in the 1950s - I remember my mother wearing it to parties (of which there were a lot in Leeds at the time, sculptors, painters, poets, writers hanging out together with barrels of cheap beer and lots of chat!)

A very proud day and my sister and two brothers and I are so pleased at this renewed interest in my father's work.

(Photos by Alison Dalwood)

See the related post: Hubert Dalwood Sculpture at Roche Court

Response to comments below
Was great to 'meet' Roger Lee (his comment below) via this post - Roger was a student of my father's at Hornsey School of Art in the 1960s (the college was famous for its student occupation in 1968!).

Roger went to the Leeds show and did some wonderful sketches of the work - check them out:
Roger Lee drawings

From time to time I come across people who knew my father and it's so great to hear their reminscences - although these encounters are always tinged with some sadness as my father died so tragically young and it gets me to wondering what else he could have achieved with his sculpture if he had lived a longer life.


  1. Kathy, I am so amazed. Your Father's work is stunning, just breathtaking!! You must be so very proud!

    Come enter my new giveaway from Empress of the Eye!

    Art by Karena

  2. What an amazing legacy your dad has left you. I can see the inspiration that you get from his work. I would loved to have seen the show in person, his work is incredible. I am glad that he is being recognized for his body of work and hope that the recognition continues to grow.

  3. I was a student of your Fathers at Hornsey in the 60's ... I found out about the Leeds Art Gallery show earlier this evening and checked the trains so hope to go up around the 27th Jan. The photos you have taken are fantastic, I saw all the exhibitions at Gimpel Fils and remember the Sculptures so well, especially the tiny ones in cast aluminium and the spotty mirrors.

    I wonder if you met Clive Shepperd from Hornsey, he took us to the David Smith show at the Tate in 1966 and Maxime Tessier took us to Paris to meet Etienne Martin and Matisse's daughter. I lost touch with Hugh after the sit-in, I got loads of work while College was shut and did not go back but did hear he kept asking if anybody knew where I had got to!!!

    Phil Horsley who was at Hornsey too and lives near Nottingham worked as an assistant and had a few aluminium wall panels he was given for helping with the castings.

    Forty plus years on I am still working as a metal Sculptor and hoping for some recognition!!

    Kind regards

    Roger Lee

  4. I made it to the exhibition today, watched the film through twice and spent a few hours of deja-vu.

    The photo of the case of aluminium jewellry.. the third on the right in your photo was missing?? It was one I would really like to have seen..

    I wonder,is your talk at the opening on youtube?? ....and the book looked great I am going to see if I can order a copy from the publisher!!

  5. Two years on and I am thrilled to add more, Kathy did you meet Miguel Berrocal the Spanish Sculptor, he had alternate shows at Gimpel Fils with Hubert Dalwood around 1967, I loved his work as much as I loved your Dad's. We decided to try and collect bits and pieces of Art we really liked, first piece was a Jean Tinguely we bought a year ago, I am nuts about his kinetic Sculpture and this Christmas I bought a Richard Lindner poster from a Paris Show in 1977, an Artist we were mad about in the '60's and the gallery had a couple of Berrocal embossings from the early '70's for peanuts so got them too....

  6. Anonymous29/1/13

    Kathy, Can you help are are you involved?



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