J.U. biography


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Jim Unsworth was born in Wigan, Lancashire, in 1958. He studied at Reading University (1976-80). The fine art course at Reading was mostly devoted to painting, although Unsworth began to make sculpture whilst he was there. His father had been a coffin-maker and it was a revelation to Unsworth, with his inherited sense of practicality and of craftsmanship, that you could actually make things and be an artist.

On leaving college Unsworth worked in a studio in Greenwich among artists who gained a reputation for making welded steel sculptures. He stayed there for fourteen years. The professional contact with other artists was important to him through those years, and work from that time was exhibited in Kunst Europa at the Kunstverein in Kirchzarten, Freiburg, part of a nation-wide exhibition of European Artists in Germany in 1991, which was a formative experience for Unsworth.

In 1994 he moved to a studio in Bow, The change of location was mirrored by a significant change in his work, which he contributes partly to time spent carving in Cyprus in 1991 and also to the larger space in which he was working. Large abstract sculptures gave way to figurative works on the theme of the circus. A strong narrative element became important, and the form of the elephant in particular took precedence, not only in large welded steel sculptures but in smaller modelled versions cast in bronze.

Unsworth’s work can be found in many public collections in Britain. He exhibits frequently in group shows, and has had a significant number of solo exhibitions.

 

Curriculum Vitae

 

Born 1958 Wigan, Lancashire
Lives and works in London

 

1976 – 1980 Reading University

 

Solo Exhibitions

 

1994 Queen Mary’s Centre, Queen Mary’s College, Basingstoke
1990 The Winchester Gallery, Winchester, Hampshire
Holden Gallery, Manchester Polytechnic, Manchester
1989 Worcester Museum and Art Gallery, Worcester
1987 Worcester Arts Workshop, Worcester
1986 Homerton Hospital, Hackney, London
Sir Hugh Casson Gallery, Eastbourne College, Eastbourne
1984 Dan Sullivan Gallery, Bedford
Air Gallery, London

 

Group Exhibitions

 

2005 Art for Life, a contemporary art event, Christies, London
Fresh Air 2005, Quenington Old Rectory, Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
2003 Sculpture in Paradise, Chichester Cathedral, Chichester, West Sussex.
Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park London Exhibition, The Gallery in Cork Street, London.
2002 Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, Minnesota, USA
Sotheby’s Shrewsbury Open Competition, Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Shewsbury;
The Gallery, Pride Hill Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury
2001 Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, Minnesota, USA
Chichester Cathedral, Chichester, West Sussex
Gallery Artists, City Gallery, London
2000 Sculpture at Goodwood, Goodwood, West Sussex
Sculpture in the Square Mile: Truth to Materials?, Finsbury Circus and City Gallery, London
Christmas Show, City Art Gallery, London
A Labour of Love, Derby Museum and Art Gallery
Gallery Artists 2000, City Gallery, London
Art 2000, Business Design Centre, London
1999 Christmas Show, City Art Gallery, London
ANIMAL, Musee Bourdelle, Paris
Sculpture at Goodwood Drawings and Models (touring exhibition);
Noordbrabants Museum, Hertogenbosch, Netherlands;
Kunstverein Hurt V, Cologne, Germany;
Stadlische Kunstahalle,Mannheim, Germany
Summer Show, City Art Gallery, London
1998 Sculpture for Winchester, Inner Close, Winchester Cathedral
Sculpture at Goodwood, Goodwood, West Sussex
Attlee Foundation Charity Art Exhibition, Gulbenkian Gallery, Royal College of Art, London
A Labour of Love, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
20th Century Sculpture Parts I and II, Millfield School and the Atkinson Gallery, Street,
Somerset
Imperial Cancer Research Fund – Contemporary Art Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
1997 The Lewes Sculpture Trail, Lewes Town of Sculpture, Lewes, East Sussex
The Plantation Sculpture Show, Norwich
1996 Sculpture in the Close, Quincentenary Exhibition, Jesus College, Cambridge
Gwyl Gelf, Harlech Biennale, Harlech, North Wales
Unfamiliar, Familiarity, Winchester Contemporary Art, Winchester
Colourful Language, Curwen Gallery, London
Ragley Hall, Warwickshire
1995 Henley Festival, Henley, Berkshire
Imperial Cancer Research Fund – Contemporary Art Exhibition, Christie’s, London
1994 Sculpture in the Close, Jesus College, Cambridge
Gwyl Gelf, Harlech Biennale, Harlech, North Wales
Lead and Follow – The Continuity of Abstraction, Atlantis Gallery, London
Made in Greenwich, The Living Room Gallery, Greenwich
Sculpture in the Park, Riverdale Sculpture Park, Lewisham, London
1993 Sculpture in the Park, Riverdale Sculpture Park, Lewisham, London
1992 Whitechapel Open (invited artist), Whitechapel Gallery, London
Lancashire Contemporaries, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire
Painters and Sculptors from the Greenwich Studios, Woodlands Art Gallery, London
Inside Out, Winchester Gallery, Winchester
Kepler Gallery, Clapham, London
1991 Kunst Europa Kunstverein, KIrchzarten, Freiburg, Germany (A Survey of European Art, British
Council)
1990 Two Exhibitions, Greenwich Artists Studio Association, Greenwich Citizen’s Gallery,
Woolwich
Sculpture at Canterbury, St. Augustine’s Park, Canterbury
1989 Sculpture at Canterbury, St. Augustine’s Park, Canterbury
Ardingly Sculpture Project, West Sussex
Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London
1988 Triangle Workshop, New York, USA
Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London
1987 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London
1986 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London
1985 Sculpture from Paper to Steel, Eastthorpe Gallery, Mirfield, West Yorkshire
Greenwich Festival Open Exhibition, Woodlands Gallery, London
Buy Art – Fight Famine in Africa, Dan Sullivan Gallery, Bedford
Leicestershire Exhibition for Schools and Colleges, Beaumanor hall, Leicester
1984 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London
1983 Greenwich Festival Open Exhibition, Woodlands Gallery, London
Works on Paper, Preston Polytechnic
1982 Twin Towns, Drawing Exhibition, Reinickendorf, Berlin
Summer Show II, Serpentine Gallery, London
1981 Painters and Sculptors from the Greenwich Studios, Woodlands Art Gallery, London
1980 New Contemporaries, ICA, London (prizewinner)
1978 Stowell’s Print Exhibition, Royal Academy, London

 

Works in Private Collections

 

United Kingdom, USA

 

Works in Public Collections

 

Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, Minnesota, USA
Bedfordshire Education Authority
Hertfordshire County Council
Homerton Hospital, Hackney
Worcester City Council
Lemba, Cyprus
Queen Mary’s Centre, Basingstoke

 

Awards

 

2001 Anthony Caro/Franconia Sculpture Park (First European Fellowship)
1986 GLAA

 

Bibliography

 

2004 Sculpture in the Park, ‘Human, Animal, Allegory’ pamphlet introduction and essay, Ann Elliot
‘Trunk Line to County Hall’ newspaper article ‘The Journal’ David Whetstone.
‘Big Top Brought to Still-Life in Sculpture Park’, newspaper article, Newcastle Echo.
‘Circus Fun at Park as Elephants Arrive’, newspaper article, Newcastle Echo
‘Jumbo Fun Coming to Park’, newspaper article, Sunderland Echo
‘Trumpeting the News of New Sculptures’, newspaper article, Evening
Chronicle
The Newcastle Journal, article
‘Sculpture in the Park’, News from Arts Council England, North East,
Issue Number 4, Summer 2004
2002 A Vision of 21st Century British Sculpture, catalogue essay, The First Ten Years of Sculpture
at Goodwood
2000 City of London Festival Brochure
1999 ANIMAL, catalogue essay
1998 Sculpture at Goodwood: Drawings and Models 1994 -98, catalogue essay, Ann Elliot
The Pier, Meridian TV, interview by Chris Searle
Sculpture for Winchester, catalogue essay, Richard Blandford
Another Surprise for Fabricius Luscinus, Sculpture at Goodwood, catalogue essay, Ann Elliot
1997 The Observer Listings, 31st August 1997
The Observer Review, Roger Tredre, 24th August 1997
BBC South Today, 21st August 1997
Sussex Express, review
Eastbourne Gazette, review
Eastern Daily Press, review, Tony Warner
Norfolk Collectables Antique and Fine Art, review
1996 Gwyl Gelf Harlech Biennale, catalogue
Anglia News, Anglia Television, interview
Sculpture in the Close, catalogue essay, Colin Renfrew
1994 Basingstoke Gazette, review
The Pier, Meridian TV, review
Abstracted Brits, The Guardian, James Hall
Gwyl Gelf Harlech Biennale, catalogue
Lead and Follow, catalogue
Metamorphoses, Three Ways of Visualising, catalogue essay, Colin Renfrew
Made in Greenwich, catalogue essay, Cullien Bantock
1993 Sculpture in the Park, Lewisham Newshopper, Editor
1992 Whitechapel Open, The Guardian, Tim Hilton
1991 Kunst Europa, Kunstverein Kirchzarten, Jurgen Feiderlein
1990 Critics Choice, The Guardian, Tim Hilton
Critics Choice, The Guardian, Tim Hilton
1989 Catalogue essay, Sheila McGreggor
1988 Sculpture Magazine, Triangle Artists, David Furchgott
Moffat Art Letter Vol 3 No 3, Ken Moffat
Whitechapel Open, The Guardian, Tim Hilton
1987 County Review, Cath Seal
1982 Serpentine Gallery Summer Show, The Observer, Tim Hilton
1980 New Contemporaries, Artscribe, Stuart Morgan

 

 

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