Brian Wall British, b. 1931

Brian Wall was born in England in 1931. While serving in the Royal Air Force he visited Paris and, determined to become an artist, he moved to St Ives to work as a part-time assistant in the studio of Barbara Hepworth. It was during this time that Wall converted from abstract painting to making sculpture. He moved to London in 1960 and swiftly established himself - he was given a solo show at the Drian Gallery in 1961 and was exhibited at the Paris Beinnale in the same year.


Throughout the 1960s Wall exhibited alongside such luminaries as Anthony Caro, David Hockney and Richard Smith as well as the American painters Kenneth Noland and Ad Reindhardt. In 1962 he began teaching at the Central School of Art and Design where he served as head of sculpture until 1974. Wall’s abstract work, created through a process of welding, stood apart from his contemporaries who predominantly carved or cast figurative and surrealist works. Wall’s oeuvre encapsulates his conviction that a sculpture should have intrinsic aesthetic value without reference to pre-existing conceptions of form.

In this way he has explained his work as ‘Nothing more or nothing less than itself. A sculpture which cannot be read or does not say anything other than what it is.’ To create such pieces Wall has drawn from an eclectic range of sources including Naum Gabo, jazz music, Japanese culture and Zen Buddhism.


His work is held in numerous collections including those of the Tate, the Arts Council, the British Council, and the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, in addition to various American, Irish and Australian collections. He now lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.