Adams was one of the most prominent post-war British abstract artists
alongside Victor Pasmore, Kenneth and Mary Martin, Adrian Heath, Roger
Hilton, Terry Frost, Anthony Hill and William Scott. In 1949 Adams began
teaching at the Central School of Art and Design in London, where he
came into contact with Victor Pasmore and his circle, which acted as
a forum for Constructivist ideas in Britain; Adams exhibited with them
from 1951 to 1956, working mainly in metal sculpture. Unlike the rest
of the group, however, he rejected both mathematical formulae and new
materials in sculpture. Many of his works were in wood and were based
on organic forms. He was nevertheless sympathetic to the group's aim
of forging a link between art and architecture.
While teaching at the Central School Adams learnt how to weld and in
1955 began to produce constructions of sheet and rod elements, as in
'Tall Spike Forms', which showed the influence of González and
a move towards non-figuration. His work of the 1960s often used welded
steel sheets, sometimes perforated, as in Large Screen Form (1962; London,
Tate). These were ideally to be displayed against a well-lit background
so as to allow light to shine through - one can clearly trace the influence
of such works on this screenprint. Though he never lived in Cornwall,
he visited and enjoyed good relations with many of the contemporary
St Ives artists, sharing with many of them a provisional approach to
Constructivism. He contributed to the 'Penwith Portfolio' of 1973 to
raise funds for the Penwith Galleries.
References: Robert Adams (exh. cat. by A. Hill, London, Gimpel Fils,
L. Alloway: Nine Abstract Artists (London, 1954), pp. 21–2.
screenprint in colours
signed, numbered 22/50 and dated 1963 in pencil
80.7 x 57.7cm
Published and printed by Curwen Studio, London.
An example of this print is held in the Tate Collection.