John Carter RA

b. 1942

It is characteristic of John Carter's work that a dialogue between painting and sculpture takes place. Fully three-dimensional works have been rare in his output, in which most of his activity has concentrated on what are called ”Wall Objects.” These usually possess some of the characteristics of painting, eg: flatness, divided surface areas and colour, but in addition, they have the sculptural qualities of physical bulk and non-rectangular contours. The holes, slots and incised lines, which penetrate their surfaces, are sculptural rather than pictorial in effect.

They are plywood constructions surfaced with a mixture of acrylic and marble powder.

John Carter was born in Hampton Hill, Middlesex. He studied at Twickenham School of Art from 1958 to 1959, then at Kingston School of Art from 1959 to 1963. He was awarded a Leverhulme Travelling Scholarship to Italy in 1963. His first abstract, constructed works were made during this journey at the British School at Rome in 1964. The "wall-objects" which occasionally span to fully three-dimensional works and also some print making, often have a mathematical basis. A dialogue between painting and sculpture is said to be characteristic of his work. He participated in the New Generation: 1966 exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (also in 1968). He was awarded a Peter Stuyvesant Travel Bursary to the USA in 1966. His first solo exhibition took place at The Redfern Gallery, London, in 1968 (also in 1971, 74, 77). An Arts Council of Great Britain Award was given to him in 1977 and an Arts Council Purchase Award in 1979. He received a prize from the Tolly Cobbold/Eastern Arts, 3rd National Exhibition in 1981.  A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Warwick Arts Trust, London, in 1983. In 1986 he participated in the international group exhibition: Die Ecke at Galerie Hoffmann, Friedberg, Germany, where he made his first contact with European concrete and constructive artists. He has since exhibited widely in Europe, especially Germany, but also in Japan and the USA. 1993 saw the realisation of a monumental sculpture at the Technische Universität, Darmstadt. Part-time teaching in art schools has been an important aspect of his life until his retirement from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 1999. Elected Royal Academician in 2007. He lives and works in London.


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John Carter RA

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