Roger Ackling, British Sculptor, 1947-2014

Roger Ackling, 2002 Photo: Pete Moss Via: National Portrait Gallery
Roger Ackling, 2002 Photo: Pete Moss Via: National Portrait Gallery

Roger Ackling died last Thursday, June 5, following a prolonged illness. Ackling was one of several artists who reinvented sculpture in Britain in the mid-20th century. A friend and colleague of Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, he studied at Central Saint Martins in the 1960s and went on to explore the sculptural possibilities of the natural world.

He’s best known for intricate wooden pieces, on which he drew by focusing the sunlight through a hand-held magnifying glass. Yet for all his works’ ritualistic undertones, Ackling always remained matter-of-fact in his approach to art. “I’m not a symbolic artist,” he once said, “it is what it is at the time of making it.”

Following his first solo show at Lisson Gallery in 1976, Ackling exhibited extensively from Japan to the US. His works are featured in many prestigious collections including the British Museum, the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.


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