Kenneth Armitage is an ex student of Leeds College of Art, who made a very powerful body of work in the 1950s, a selection of which is on exhibition at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery over the road from the college.
Alongside his sculptural pieces, his working drawings for them are on exhibition, these are also worth having a close look at and they suggest that one way to think about his sculptures are as a 3D extensions of drawn forms.
He was very interested at the time in the human figure, in particular when seen in small groups. Therefore several of the drawings in the exhibition show him exploring the possibilities of figure and mass, in particular what happens when one body meets another. His drawings have a fresh directness that communicate an energy and a searching for a summation of a particular experience of bodies, that still feels relevant over 50 years after they were produced.
The exhibition brings together sculptures and drawings of the 1950s, which coincide with the time when he undertook the University of Leeds Gregory Fellowship and includes loans of work drawn from public and private collections across Britain.
Kenneth Armitage: studies for sculpture