Leon Underwood, born in 1890, was a noted British sculptor, painter, draughtsman and engraver. He has been described as 'the precursor of modern sculpture in Britain'.
Underwood is best known for his sculptures cast in bronze, carvings in marble, stone and wood, and his drawings. His lifetime´s work however includes a wide range of mediums and activities, and an expressive and technical mastery in what was at the time a groundbreaking approach to multiple media.
In view of the streamlined, stylized forms of his stone carvings and bronzes in the 1920s and 30s, and the influence of his teaching, Underwood has been noted as the ‘father’ of Modern art in Britain. Among his students was Henry Moore, who later spoke of his indebtedness to Underwood's instruction. Underwood was always convinced that subject matter formed a fundamental role behind the power of both his own work and the primitive art that he studied, and had no belief in subject-less or purely abstract form in his own work.
Underwood is represented in many public collections, including the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Tate Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the V&A, the British Council Collection, and The Brooklyn Museum.
Exhibitions at Gallagher & Turner:
101 Years of British Art
15 September - 21 October 2017