Norman Dilworth

b. 1931

Born in 1931 in Wigan, Norman Dilworth showed an early interest in mathematics, but was discouraged by a school prefect, and decided to pursue a career in art. He studied at Wigan School of Art (1948-52), then at the Slade (1952-56), where he was attached to both the painting and sculpture departments, at the suggestion of William Coldstream. Visiting professors and lecturers included Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and Graham Sutherland. He was awarded the prestigious Henry Tonks Prize in 1955, and in the following year, he won the Sunday Times Drawing Prize. In his graduating year, he was awarded a French Government Scholarship, and so moved to Paris to continue his studies, where he befriended Giacometti. The strong, linear drawings that he had made in Paris soon hardened into painted sculptures, as he moved towards Constructivist Art. After living in England during the 1960s, and teaching at various colleges, Dilworth moved to Amsterdam in 1971, after a successful solo show was held at the Hague. By this time his work had moved towards the making of large, freestanding structures, often comprising intricate assemblages of steel rods, or of wood stained black. An example of the latter is Single Line, of 1976, a large-scale, latticed web of lines sculpted in wood, which was acquired by the Arts Council of Great Britain. Dilworth's association with Constructivist Art was highlighted in 1977, when he was one of seven artists invited to produce a print for the portfolio 'Rational Concepts', alongside Malcolm Hughes, Kenneth Martin and Jeffrey Steele. The portfolio was later purchased by the Tate in 1981. In 1980, Dilworth was invited to co-organise the seminal Pier + Ocean exhibition (the title of which was taken from a work by Mondrian) with Gerhard von Graevenitz at the Hayward Gallery, London. Featuring Carl Andre, John Baldesarri and Mario Merz, this exhibition explored the relationship between Constructivist Art and the international avant-garde movements of Land Art, Arte Povera, Minimalism and Conceptualism. This exhibition spawned two further shows, in Lodz (1981) and Munich (1982). This decade also saw a number of notable public and private commissions from across the Netherlands, for his sculpture and reliefs, many of them executed on a monumental scale.  


In 2002 Dilworth moved from Amsterdam to Lille, prompting the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam to stage a farewell exhibition for the artist. In 2005 he was given a solo show at Musée des Beaux Arts, Calais, followed by a retrospective at Musée Matisse, Le Cateau Cambrésis. His first Redfern show was held in 2017. Most recently, in 2019, Dilworth was awarded the prestigious Peter C Ruppert Prize for Concrete Art in Europe, and in so doing, became the first British artist to win the prize since its inception in 2008; previous recipients include the French artist François Morellet and the Hungarian Dora Maurer.

Read moreRead less

Norman Dilworth

Please inform me about available works, news and exhibitions.

In order to respond to your enquiry, we will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy (available on request). You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in our emails.