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Tony Carter

1943 – 2016. Born in Barnsley, Yorkshire.

Carter studied at Newcastle University (1962-1966) on the course run by the innovative and hugely influential Richard Hamilton, founder of the Pop Art movement. Later he studied at Reading University (M.A.) at which point sculpture became the principal medium for his work, frequently using found objects. He explored the relationship between mundane objects and symbolism or metaphor.

A notable example from 1978/79 was By Bread Only, for the Demise of Icons (now in the Leeds Museum and Gallery Collection), it consists of a metal milk saucepan hanging on a white board on an artist’s easel; the interior base of the pan is etched with the head of an angel copied from a Leonardo da Vinci drawing. Overhead lighting of the piece throws a wing-like reflection onto the board behind. The work invites reflection on various ideas, for example, from the New Testament and art history, and reveals the intention behind Carter’s approach: “(I use) familiar objects but I want them to speak in a symbolic way to the emotional, psychological life of the spectator”.

Carter’s works have appeared in numerous exhibitions, including solo shows at the Anthony Reynolds Gallery in London, Claudine Papillon Gallery in Paris, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge and the Imperial War Museum, London.

Carter was a gifted and influential teacher for much of his career: at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts (1986-1989), at Goldsmith’s College of Art and then at City and Guilds of London Art School where he was first appointed Head of Fine Art before being made Principal in 2000 until his retirement in 2014.

Crown of Thorns (J Robert Oppenheimer's Dilemma)