George Fullard

(1923—1973) sculptor

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British sculptor, born in Sheffield. He came from a radical working-class background: his father was a miner, Communist, and strike leader. Fullard's own political stance has been described as ‘lapsed Communist’. During the Second World War he fought in the Battle of Cassino, in which he was seriously wounded. As a young artist he was strongly associated with the Kitchen Sink painters, especially Derrick Greaves and Jack Smith, and his realist sculpture was much admired by John Berger. In the late 1950s he embarked on a series of wooden assemblages which draw upon the example of Picasso's constructions. The finest of these, The Patriot (1959–60, Southampton City Art Gallery), which depicts a baby in arms waving a Union Flag, announces the theme that would dominate his best-known work, the relationship between war and children's games. Death or Glory (1963–4, Tate) is a characteristic example, a wood construction in which an upturned table becomes a barricade. Such works were contemporary both with Peter Blake's Pop nostalgia for childhood and with widespread protests against nuclear arms. After the exhibition of the ‘war series’ in 1964, Fullard embarked on a group of sculptures dealing with the sea and ships. For him there was a continuity between the artist's world and the child's. In 1959 he wrote ‘Just as the child, without effort, slips through imagination out of life to make a man out of a pepper pot, or the heaving deck of a shipwreck out of a placid pavement, so the artist works towards the miracle of making visible that which apparently could not exist’ (‘Sculpture and Survival’, The Painter and Sculptor, vol. 2, no. 2, summer 1959).

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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