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Frank Dobson Exhibition of Sculpture & Drawings

We are delighted to announce an exhibition of 'new work' by Frank Dobson [1886-1963], one of Britain's greatest ever sculptors who was, to many minds, at least the equal of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Goldmark administer the Dobson estate and, like the forensic detectives they are, discovered moulds for never before editioned sculptures amongst original drawings. Goldmark commissioned, with the permission of the Estate, the Black Isle Bronze foundry In Scotland to cast editions of 28 sculptures - 21 of which have never been editioned before. They are the foundation of a wonderful new show from one of the most influential and important figures in 20th century British Sculpture, at Goldmark Gallery from 22nd October 2022.

Frank Dobson working in his studio

Frank Dobson was born in London, the son of an illustrator of the same name. His early work consisted mainly of paintings, the few surviving examples showing how impressed he was by Roger Fry’s Post-Impressionist exhibitions (Stanhope Forbes, whom Dobson met in Newlyn, had been shocked by his modernism). He made his first carving in 1913, but Dobson’s first one-man exhibition—at the Chenil Gallery, London, in 1914—consisted of paintings and drawings. After the First World War (when he served in France with the Artists’ Rifles), Dobson turned increasingly to sculpture, and had his first one-man exhibition as a sculptor in 1920, at the Leicester Galleries, London.

Frank Dobson drawing

Frank Dobson Woman Seated

In 1925 Roger Fry described his work as ‘true sculpture and pure sculpture … almost the first time that such a thing has been even attempted in England’. His work Cornucopia was described by Clive Bell as ‘the finest piece of sculpture by an Englishman since—I don’t know when’. and Dobson’s sophisticated simplifications of form made him one of the pioneers of modern sculpture in Britain.

Frank Dobson Osbert Sitwell

Dobson was also outstanding as a portrait sculptor. He worked in various materials including bronze, terracotta, and stone, and he was prominent in the revival of direct carving. His craftsmanship in all these materials was superb and he played an important role as a liberal-minded and kind-hearted teacher at the Royal College of Art, where he was professor of sculpture from 1946 to 1953. He was made a CBE in 1947 and elected a Royal Academician in 1951. He died in London in 1963.

Frank Dobson Kneeling Figure

Frank Dobson - New Bronzes is an exhibition not to be missed. It runs from 22 October to 20 November and admission is free. The show will be accompanied by a new Goldmark book on the artist written by celebrated author Andrew Lambirth.


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