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Bruce Lacey

(b. 1927)


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(1927– )

British artist, born at Catford, London. After leaving school aged thirteen, he worked at a variety of jobs. He took up painting while in hospital suffering from tuberculosis, 1947–8, then studied at Hornsey College of Art, 1948–51, and the Royal College of Art, 1951–4. ‘Within a year of leaving it had all gone…All I could do was sit in my little attic studio and play with the sunlight’; he stopped painting, and turned to the world of entertainment, working as a knife-thrower among other things. Then in 1962 he began making environments and the works for which he is best known—witty animated robots, ingeniously constructed of all manner of debris (Boy Oh Boy, Am I Living, 1964, Tate). These were brought together in an exhibition at the Marlborough New London Gallery in 1965. After this he abandoned sculpture, moving to Avebury and becoming involved with ‘earth magic’. As a Performance artist he worked for a time in partnership with his second wife Jill Bruce, whom he married in 1967.

Subjects: Art.


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