Bryan Kneale RA: Aspects of Drawing
18 March—12 June 2011
In the Sir Hugh Casson Room for Friends of the Royal Academy
Bryan Kneale RA, 'Boar Pig', 1986 This exhibition is an opportunity to see a collection of drawings and lithographic prints by the sculptor Bryan Kneale RA. It will include anatomical studies, for which he is well known, a group of life drawings that have never been exhibited before and that were executed when he was Professor of Drawing at the Royal College of Art, as well as a number of recently executed works.
Best known as an abstract sculptor, Kneale’s drawings illustrate his desire to explore how the skeletons, from which many of his works are drafted, operate as living three dimensional structures. These celebrated works are drawings taken from his sculptor’s perspective. Kneale does not view these works as studies for sculpture, but rather as works in their own right; an exploration of structural form.
David Attenborough, who has followed Bryan Kneale’s artistic career for many years, made this observation about a previous series of his ‘bone drawings’:
“If you did not already know, you might guess that his superb drawings, so taut in line, so masterly in their detail and their elision of detail, were produced by an artist who is not only a superb draftsman but a sculptor, fascinated by the ways in which masses may be supported by struts and cantilevers, and weights held in suspension by counter-weights.”
Bryan Kneale originally trained as a painter at the Royal Academy Schools in the late 1940s before turning to sculpture in the early 1960s, eventually becoming Head of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1980-85). Throughout his career drawing has been an important part of his practice, although there were times when it was more a way of visualising sculptural works, rather than an end in its own right.
It was a broken leg in the 1980s that limited Kneale’s production of sculptural works and led him to return to drawings in a more concentrated way. He became fascinated by the collection of animal, fish, reptile and bird skeletons held at the Natural History Museum. He has observed:
“Even in my most abstract work I’ve always searched for a persona in order to feel the work has a life of its own.”
Bryan Kneale was elected as a Royal Academician in February 1970.
Works will be available for sale.