In a time where vitality focuses primarily on youth, Anthony Abrahams’ sculptures
are the perfect antidote to ageism as both a celebration of the human spirit and the
body in all its forms.
Pangolin London is proud to present an exhibition of works of life affirming warmth and beauty
with the first London solo show of Anthony Abrahams for over ten years. Encompassing a
selection of works from the past two decades, this exhibition is testament to Abrahams’ unique
Born in London in 1926 Abrahams first attended the University of Cambridge, where he read
English, and went on to study painting at the Anglo-French Art Centre in London. Following
this he made a successful career in the world of advertising before he turned to his artistic
practice full time in 1991.
Known for his stylistically distinctive figurative sculptures, Anthony Abrahams’ work fuses
formal excellence with an emotive representation of the body and painterly flair. Abrahams’
recent flurry of artistic activity has been in no small way driven by his close relationship with
the Pangolin Editions sculpture foundry in Gloucestershire, where he casts all of his works.
Made by initially constructing wood and steel armatures and covering them in plaster, the
moulds are then cast into bronze using the lost wax process. This achieves the quality of
texture so key to Abrahams work, as chisel marks, scratches and the evidences of construction
are preserved on the skins of his subjects.
Anthony Abrahams work speaks both of human strength and frailty. In Searching I and II, the
half-formed figures can be read as depictions of either growth or disintegration, striving or
‘searching’, for a bodily autonomy their lack of limbs and other parts prohibit. Bending and
Leaning also explore notions of the corporeal in their study of pose and posture. Abrahams is
not interested in monumentalising these simple physical acts, but manages to negotiate the
most delicate, intimate elements of movement into sacred portraits of human endeavour.
Abrahams work is a celebration of an inner power, confidence and vitality that come with
age and there is above all an overpowering sense of determination and beauty in these
bodies. Often his dynamic and emotive figures also explore the difficult subject of the inner
spirit at conflict with the outer body and confront us with desires that struggle to become
resolved with their exterior forms. In the first catalogue of his work, Edward Phelps described
Abrahams’ outlook as:
“sometimes tender, sometimes sad…a tolerant understanding of the frailty and transience of
human aspirations, a perception of our precarious hold on life.”
The sculptures in this exhibition do not cut a clear path in defining specific feelings or
relationships, but instead linger in the complexities and ambiguities of the human condition.
Commonly they are all caught on the cusp; of a movement or action about to take place, a
whisper about to be spoken, of life or of death, completion or complete disintegration. The
result is a stunning exhibition that is both a contemplative study on the aging process, gender
and the corporeal body, and a glorious celebration of the enduring human spirit.
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.
Open Tues - Saturday 10am-6pm
For further information contact: Pangolin London: Tel: 020 7520 1480