Stephen Gilbert was born on 15 January 1910 and was one of few British artists to fully embrace the avant garde movement in Paris is the 1950s. Born in Scotland, Gilbert moved to London and studied at the Slade School of Art from 1929 to 1932, where he befriended fellow student Roger Hilton and met his wife-to-be, scultpor Jocelyn Chewett.
He studied at the Royal Academy in 1936, before moving to Paris in 1937 and then to Ireland during the Second World War. He joined the White Stag Group of refugee artists and took inspiration from fantastic creatures and plantspainted in vivd colours.
He returned to Paris in 1946 and becaming one of only two British members of the CoBra art group, the other being William Gear. His approach to painting became more abstract and he began to concentrate on three-dimensional and architectural forms, made from sheets of aluminium. He was a founder of the Neovision Group, working with numerous architects and moving onto explore curvilinear form, completing two public commisions in London. He received a Gulbenkian award in 1962, and the sculpture prize at the Tokyo Biennale in 1965.