David Begbie United Kingdom, b. 1955


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"Each work is an entity which has a far greater physical presence than any solid object could possibly have because it has the power to suggest that it doesn't exist."



Internationally renowned sculptor David Begbie has worked almost exclusively with the human form throughout his career. Since his first pioneering solo show in London 1984 a whole new genre of steelmesh art has emerged and continues to grow. He is the master of his medium wiremesh and his work speaks for itself.

David Begbie discovered the particular properties of steel and bronzemesh as an art student in 1977. Since then his work has been exhibited globally and has been an enormous inspiration to many people, including architects, designers, photographers, world of theatre and dance as well as to other artists. His sculpture is included in numerous museums, corporate and private art collections around the world.

Since his graduation in 1982 he has worked almost exclusively with the human form, although has often produced abstract composition alongside the figurative sculpture. Primarily sculpting in steel and bronze he also produces mono-prints, etchings, ink and charcoal drawings, mixed- media work and photographs, but it is for his distinctive wiremesh sculpture that Begbie is most renowned. David Begbie achieves fine sculpting detail of musculature and an aesthetic completeness of the human form. His subject has often been compared to Michelangelo and in particular to Rodin, as it is often that of the partial or truncated figure. Begbie’s simple diaphanous optically dynamic sculpture transcends classical forms and is profoundly contemporary.

The mesh is transparent – 90% thin air, yet it has a much greater physical presence than any conventional solid form. Begbie’s skill, perception, understanding, and imagination are succinctly and economically contained within the confines of the simple shell that constitutes each 

sculpture. Look again closely and you see that there is not even a skin, only a graphic delineation of one. In relation to the space it occupies, the catalytic effect a Begbie’s sculpture has, given that it has no palpable substance or surface, is phenomenal.
The introduction of strategic lighting as an integral part of a particular composition has the most remarkable result where the combination of two and three dimensions, with the use of projected shadows, produces an optical fusion of image and object.

These sculptures focus on the dynamic optical qualities of the material itself and its interaction with specific or ambient light in suspended space. For the viewer the mesh material has intrigue yet is somehow familiar – the mesh creates a liveliness and sense of movement.

His sculptures are contemporary archetypal images using figurative physical forms made from steel-mesh and stainless steel. Encapsulated within these forms are a series of relationships between masculinity and femininity, positive and negative, matter and antimatter, light and dark. Furthermore, Begbie transforms industrial and discarded materials into beautiful artworks to emphasise the potential uses for and the importance of repurposing and recycling materials.

David Begbie is currently one of the most influent sculptor in England and worldwide with solo shows in four continents and artworks exhibited in many museums like the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy; the National Gallery of Canberra, Australia; the Museum Beelden aan Zee, Holland; the National Gallery of Canada; the National History Museum in London, UK; as well as an extensive list of public and private commissions: the Natural History Museum of London, UK; the Faith Dome of the Millennium Dome, Greenwich, UK; Buddha Bar, London, UK; Citibank, London, UK; The Hyatt Carlton, London, UK; the Connaught Hotel, London UK; the Lowry Hotel, Manchester, UK; Hanover Grange, Montego Bay, Jamaïca.

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