Armitage is obsessed with the human figure, yet he is at his most lyrical when talking about landscape. Indeed, in the broad, rough surfaces of earlier works like ‘The sentinels’ (1955-6) the connection with a powerful, wild Nature is almost tangible, reappearing in more distant, intellectualised form in recent works like ‘The Dagda’ (1995), inspired by Celtic mythology and the landscape of Ireland, and whose very name, he says, ‘inspires awe’.
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Kenneth Armitage was born in Leeds in 1916. He studied at Leeds College of Art (1934-37) and at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1937-39). During the war years he served in the army and in 1946 became Head of Sculpture at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, a post which he held for ten years…