Frank Dobson

1888–1963

Frank Dobson, 'Sir Osbert Sitwell, Bt' 1923
Sir Osbert Sitwell, Bt 1923
© The estate of Frank Dobson
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Biography

Frank Owen Dobson RA (18 November 1886 – 22 July 1963) was a British artist and sculptor. Dobson began as a painter, and his early work was influenced by cubism, vorticism, and futurism. After World War I, however, he turned increasingly toward sculpture in a more or less realist style. Throughout the 1920s and the early 1930s he built a reputation as an outstanding sculptor and was among the first in Britain to prefer direct carving of the material rather than modelling a maquette first. The simplified forms and flowing lines of much of his sculptures, particularly his female nudes, showed the influence of African art. From 1946 to 1953 Dobson was Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1953. While Dobson was one of the most esteemed artists of his time, after his death his reputation declined with the move towards postmodernism and conceptual art. However, in recent years a revival has begun. Dobson is now seen as one of the most important British sculptors of the 20th century.

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