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Remembering Ivor Abrahams RA

Published 13 January 2015

Past President of the RA Phillip King pays tribute to his friend and colleague Ivor Abrahams RA, who has died aged 79.

  • Ivor was a colleague and friend and we go back a long time; in fact to my early days in the Fifties at St Martins when I was at the beginning of thinking of myself as a sculptor. When I first met Ivor, he had already found his way, and his work was to move on over the following years and with increasing professionalism.

    Ivor was a traditionalist, who ignored the current trends and found his inspiration mostly in the endless possibilities of the human figure, as well as the English garden, often combining the two happily in a manner that gave his work an unusual atmosphere, quite unique in British sculpture.

    Working mostly in bronze, his work as a printmaker fed into experiments with other materials where he was able to print on three dimensional surfaces which resulted in works that were both original and provoking and nevertheless sculptural.

  • Ivor Abrahams and 'Urban Owl'

    Ivor Abrahams and 'Urban Owl'

    Photo courtesy Mayor Gallery

  • He also had a good eye as a collector, reflecting his wide ranging interests. In his home I remember seeing Balinese bronze drums next to jars with preserved snakes, as well as exquisite porcelain. With his inquisitive mind and wide knowledge in many fields, he was able to fight health problems with incredible guts over many years, when most people would long ago have given up.

    Apart from feeling enriched and stimulated by our interchange of ideas over many years, and by the good times we spent together, I think of Ivor every day when I bounce for a few minutes on the Rebounder, a small trampoline for exercising on, which he persuaded me to buy and which I now value more than I could ever have imagined. Thankyou, Ivor.

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    Ivor Abrahams RA at Mayor Gallery

    An interview with Ivor Abrahams RA recorded in his exhibition at the Mayor Gallery in 2013.