John Hoskin

Great Britain

Untitled / Forma viva 1965

steel plates / 420 x 360 x 280 cm / northern artery, Ravne
Hoskin’s early works in the 1950s included recognisable details of forms from the world of animals, particularly insects. At the beginning of the 1960s, he started to combine the still vivid zoomorphic associations with coloured, geometric forms (the statue titled Square Flat, 1963, at the London Tate Gallery); it was only with the sculpture created in Ravne that Hoskin came close to the origins of abstract modernist sculpture, as it was practised by his more famous English contemporaries Caro, Scott or King. Indeed, the technical aspects of the sculpture’s implementation, with its screwed-together components, remind one of the technology used for constructing aerodynamic aircrafts; however, its precision reveals the sculptor to be an exceptional master of shaping metal.

John Hoskin was born on 21 September, 1921, in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Great Britain. He finished school in 1935 and trained as a technical draftsman. From 1941 to 1947, he served in the army, then worked as a draftsman for a shorter period of time. In his free time, he painted and designed wood and metal. Under the influence of painter Terry Frost, he decided to become a sculptor. He started working in sculpture in the early 1950s, he quit his job in public service and only did odd jobs. He soon became one of the more prominent young British sculptors. In 1960, he had a high-profile solo exhibition at the Grosvenor and Matthiesen Gallery. He taught at the Bath Academy in Corsham, and he was Professor of Art at the University of Leicester. His works are kept at the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Council collection and several other galleries across the world – in America, New Zealand, Australia, etc. His works have been exhibited in Great Britain, Belgium, Japan, Germany, and India. Sir Herbert Read also wrote about his work (Art Now and A Concise History of Modern Sculpture). Hoskin died in 1990.

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