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Robert Osborne

Born in: 1953

United Kingdom

Biography

Translation in progress

My earliest recollections of Bob Osborne go back to the autumn of 1972 when we were both first year students at the University of East Anglia. A sandy haired beach boy in a donkey jacket who arrived in Norfolk after exploits in the contrasting arenas of building sites and European travels, Osborne seemed to have a point to prove. From the outset he was always an independent, even rebellious spirit, and his déclassé stance was real for he hailed from gypsy street traders and the rough end of West London Bohemia.

We went our separate ways as students but, 30 years later, made re-acquaintance in St Ives, where his dream of a Dionysian, creative and hedonistic accord by the sea found fulfilment. Although he came to art late-though not as belatedly as Alfred Wallis - there is something personal, endemic and natural in his chosen modus operandi. After all, as a child he went out on a horse and cart and witnessed his father, a scrap metal dealer, turn discarded junk into a source of livelihood.

The random excitement of finding objects stayed with him providing a formative and motivational factor in his scouring of London skips and Cornish harbours and beaches. From these humble materials he fashions collages and wall-bound relief constructions. Beachcombing and the poetic retrieval of rough and weathered objets trouvés - driftwood, metal, cork and netting - bridged the gap between art and life.

A natural extension of his lifestyle, Osborne’s art making links raw and instinctive processes with an intellectually informed sensibility. Since 1998 his boxed or free-hanging compositions have developed from nostalgic or literary juxtapositions into purely formal arrangements, whose shape, colour and texture embodies poignant association with obsolescence, redundancy and a salutary, if sad beauty.

A former literature and creative writing student who - not bad for an aspiring poet - knew Robert Graves in Mallorca, he developed his art along inevitable plastic and architectonic lines once he began working in St Ives. Time as well as place exerts their hold on Osborne’s work. His reliefs function as self-imposed diaries of a given day, each excursion `chronicled` in terms of a captured spontaneity and subject to only minor adjustments in the studio. Osborne knowingly strikes a compromise between the concrete and lyrical qualities of St Ives modernism.

But his beachside and maritime constructions introduce an unruly note to the ordered purity of St Ives constructivism. Whilst assisting in the studios of his close friends Sandra Blow and Denis Bowen, Osborne has learnt directly from inspirational sources.Osborne never uses scale gratuitously, enjoying the challenge of restricted ramshackle working spaces.

The improvisational nature of the Cornish imagination is reflected in the art of this schooled primitive whose work also extends to printmaking. The simple but eye-catching litho print Waves (2001) is an emblem of the flux of sea and sand enshrined in the static clarity of memory. Memory and the distance of time are held in check by a sensual delight in the direct and physical manipulation of materials.

- Peter Davies, 2001

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    Tags
  • Print

  • Print Abstract

  • Sculpture

  • Sculpture Resin

  • Print Screen print

  • British Artist

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Robert Osborne, (with Carrie Reichardt) Day of The Dead, Print

Robert Osborne

(with Carrie Reichardt) Day of The Dead, 2017
50 x 40 x 3 cm
Print

1 566 €

Robert Osborne, (with Carrie Reichardt) Language of The Unheard, Print

Robert Osborne

(with Carrie Reichardt) Language of The Unheard, 2017
24 x 24 x 1 cm
Print

403 €

Robert Osborne, (with Carrie Reichardt) Pikey Just Nick It, Print

Robert Osborne

(with Carrie Reichardt) Pikey Just Nick It, 2017
20 x 20 x 1 cm
Print

392 €

Robert Osborne, (with Carrie Reichardt) Rupert Bear, Print

Robert Osborne

(with Carrie Reichardt) Rupert Bear, 2017
44 x 36 x 1 cm
Print

448 €

Robert Osborne, (with Carrie Reichardt) Stop Buying Shit, Print

Robert Osborne

(with Carrie Reichardt) Stop Buying Shit, 2017
21 x 21 x 1 cm
Print

403 €

Robert Osborne, Fuck The State (with Carrie Reichardt), Print

Robert Osborne

Fuck The State (with Carrie Reichardt), 2017
23 x 19 x 1 cm
Print

313 €

Robert Osborne, Cars Sculpture, Sculpture

Robert Osborne

Cars Sculpture, 2010
36 x 27 x 5 cm
Sculpture

895 €

Robert Osborne, St. Ives Waves, Print

Robert Osborne

St. Ives Waves, 2001
58 x 48 cm
Print

313 €

Robert Osborne, Unfit Mother (with Carrie Reichardt), Print

Robert Osborne

Unfit Mother (with Carrie Reichardt), 2017
23 x 19 x 1 cm
Print

313 €

Robert Osborne, Fuck The Patriarchy (with Carrie Reichardt), Print

Robert Osborne

Fuck The Patriarchy (with Carrie Reichardt), 2017
23 x 19 x 1 cm
Print

313 €

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