Frank Dobson initially began his career as a painter, before focusing predominantly on sculpture from 1921, after service in the First World War. Dobson was one of the most revered artists of his generation and in the 1920s became regarded as one of the leading avant-garde sculptors of the day. Dobson was greatly promoted by Roger Fry and Clive Bell and enjoyed international acclaim, exhibiting at the Venice Biennale in 1924 and in 1926, the 1925 Tri-National Exhibition, and the European artist’s exhibition that toured America and Canada in 1926.
Dobson’s main preoccupation, and the subject that he become best-known for, was the female figure. Seen to powerful effect in the present work, Dobson creates a work that is both contemporary and has a classical and timeless quality. Celebrated for his simplified forms and harmonious lines, which spoke equally of the African Art and the work of Aristide Maillol that inspired him, Dobson created a unique sculptural vernacular. This purity of aesthetic was celebrated by Fry, who described his work as, 'true sculpture and pure sculpture’, stating that it was ‘almost the first time that such a thing has been even attempted in England' (R. Fry, ‘Mr. Frank Dobson’s Sculpture’, The Burlington Magazine, April 1925).
A chalk and charcoal study for The Repast, also owned by Sir Nicholas Goodison, is included as the next lot in this sale.