a54376b03ab2d3141af454174dbb9838 Robert Knight

Robert Knight was born Leicestern in 1921.  He died in London in 1987 from cancer agravated by fibreglass dust.  Robert studied at Leicester College of Art from 1936 -1937, and after serving in the Royal Artillery from 1940 – 1945, he studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1946 – 1950.  Between 1950 – 1970, Robert worked as a gardener, handyman, painter and decorator, amongst other practical jobs. He exhibited at the Nicholas Treadwell Gallery from 1968 till his death in 1987, and the permanent collection of his work remains a major presence in the gallery to this day. The gallery had one man shows of his work in 1970, 1972, 1974 and 1980, as well as at the Dusseldorf Art Fair in 1974.     When asked to explain the inspiration for his slices of people, he recounted visiting a private view in the early part of the sixties and noticing that the guests were more interested in each other than the art on the walls.  He decided to put the people on the walls, seeing his vividly realistic slices as intense humanist symbols.  He never produced more than three or four of these works in a year, sometimes taking as long as seven years over the development of a sculpture`s “Character”.  Although he saw himself , and was invariably seen, as an essentially English artist, making work that was often a cliche of English life, the unique nature of his work has been and is appreciated world-wide – probably because the essence of his work is the universal theme of human weakness. The legendary curator, the late  Harald Szeemann was amongst the many fans of his work, considering his sculpture for inclusion in the 1972 Documenta.   Amongst a great deal of international exposure, his work was included in the 1973 Sao Paulo Bienale and the 1983 Middleheim Sculpture Bienale in Antwerp.