Artist biography

English sculptor and draughtsman. He studied at Lancaster College of Art (1968–71) and Central School of Art, London (1971–4), initially training as a ceramicist. He came to prominence in the 1980s in the context of a movement sometimes referred to as ‘New British Sculpture', which included such artists as Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon and Anthony Gormley. Allington was particularly intrigued by the notion that the world is a reflection of a higher ideal; the conjunction of this theme with strategies and ideas drawn from the conceptual and environmental art of the period produced a humorous and almost satirical quality in his art. Another abiding concern with the contrast between ideal symbols and real sculptural forms is demonstrated in Ideal Standard Forms (1980; London, Tate), an installation featuring sculptural representations of ideal Platonic forms. The Fruit of Oblivion (1982) represents another development evolving from this, and one that is typical of his work at the time in being a curiously realistic, brightly-coloured sculpture of fruit raining down from a cornucopia, suspended in an unlikely fashion in mid-air. In the late 1980s he developed further his diverse interest in classical motifs, exhibiting larger installations and often elaborations on architectural motifs. Unsupported Support (1987) reveals the continuing comic undertones in his work: it consists of nothing more than a segment of a Corinthian capital with no architectural purpose to fulfil. Similar imagery appeared in often large ink drawings, many of them made on a collage base of old ledger-book fragments.

Edward Allington: In Pursuit of Savage Luxury (exh. cat., essay J. Ford and interview by S. Morgan, Nottingham, Midland Group, 1984)
Edward Allington: New Sculpture (exh. cat., essay S. Morgan, London, Riverside Studios, 1985)
M. Livingstone: British Object Sculptors of the '80s II (Kyoto, 1989)
Edward Allington (exh. cat., essays A. Pohlen and S. Snoddy, Bonn, Kstver. Göppingen, Städt. Gal.; Manchester, Cornerhouse; Birmingham, Ikon Gal.; 1993)

10 December 2000

Article provided by Grove Art Online