John Skeaping

(1901—1980) sculptor and teacher of sculpture

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British sculptor and draughtsman, born at South Woodford, Essex, the son of a painter. At the age of thirteen he went to Blackheath School of Art, London, and subsequently studied at Goldsmiths College, the Central School of Art and Design, and in 1919–20 the Royal Academy Schools. He won several awards and scholarships, including the Prix de Rome in 1924; Barbara Hepworth was runner-up. The couple married in Rome in 1925 and were divorced in 1933, by which time Hepworth was living with Ben Nicholson. During their marriage Skeaping was influenced by Hepworth's advocacy of direct carving, making works in which he tried to exploit the natural qualities of stone and wood: ‘Perhaps I was jealous of her admiration for Moore and felt that she didn't really think much of my work.’ In the 1930s, however, he reverted to a more traditional style and worked mainly as an animal (particularly horse) sculptor in bronze. He published several books, including Drawn From Life: An Autobiography (1977).

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

Subjects: Art.

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