Inge King

Abstract steel sculptor Inge King was born in Berlin and trained at the Berlin Academy from 1937 to 1938 and later at the Royal Academy School (on a scholarship) in London in 1940 and the Glasgow School of Art (on bursary) from 1941 to 1943. King taught art in Glasgow and London from 1944 to 1949, during which time she married painter Grahame King. Since moving to Australia in 1950, King has been at the forefront of developing and diversifying non-figurative sculpture in Australia. King was part of the Centre 5 group whose mission it was to help foster greater public awareness in contemporary sculpture. King taught sculpture at RMIT University from 1976 to 1987. She has held solo exhibitions since 1940 in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Geelong. Retrospective exhibitions of Kings’ works were held at the Bendigo Regional Gallery in 1995 and the National Gallery of Victoria in 1992. Major commissions include monumental works at McClelland Gallery, VIC; the Arts Centre, Melbourne; the University of Melbourne; Heide Museum of Modern Art, VIC and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Touring exhibitions of Inge and Grahame King’s works were exhibited through McClelland Sculpture Park in 2004. King was awarded the Eltham Prize in 1965 and 1967, a British Council Travel Grant in 1969, the RAAF memorial prize in 1971 and the Mildura Sculpture Triennial Prize 1975. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 1984 and in 2008 was awarded the Visual Arts Emeritus Award by the Australian Arts Council, recognizing her pivotal role in raising the profile of modern sculpture in this country. King received a Doctorate in Literature from Deakin University in 1990 and an Honorary Doctorate in Arts from RMIT in 1997. King’s work is held by numerous collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Artbank, Sydney; Parliament House, Canberra and several regional and university galleries.(

Inge King, “Celestial rings I” (2014),
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2016.
Photo Clyde Yee

 Rings of Saturn
"Rings of Saturn is located in the Sir Rupert Hamer Garden, in the grounds of the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen, a suburb of Melbourne. Shortly after the dedication of this work, in August 2006, King said:
Working with Heide Museum for Rings of Saturn, firstly we agreed on a maquette. Then when I saw the site I knew I had to enlarge the work to do what I call 'conquer the landscape'. The Australian landscape is an enormously powerful landscape; vast and with clarity of atmosphere, and you never know in advance how work will look in it. The landscape grips my imagination – I try to measure my work against the vast spaces of this country. Conquering the landscape does not rely on scale but simplicity and clarity of form expressing inner strength and tension. If my sculpture is outdoors or in the public domain I like it to arouse people's curiosity to explore the work. Multidimensional objects look different from every angle. The exciting thing about outdoor sculpture is the change with the light, the weather... everything is in constant flux. It becomes almost a living entity"Wikipedia

 Red Rings
This sculpture was commissioned in 2008 by ConnectEast as part of the EastLink collection. It is located at the junction of the EastLink Trail and the Dandenong Creek Trail, near the EastLink Motorway, Melbourne. It is made up of three steel rings, each 2.5 metres in diameter and painted red. It is intended that people can walk through the sculpture.

 Forward Surge
Inge Kings's best known sculpture is the monumental Forward Surge at the Melbourne Arts Centre. The sculpture was commissioned by the Victorian Arts Centre in 1974. Construction was completed in 1976, and the work was installed in its present position in 1981. It is made from 50mm mild steel and stands 5.2m high, 15.1m wide and 13.7m deep.

 Sun Ribbon
This work was installed in 1980, on a small lawn outside the Union Building at the heart of the University of Melbourne. It is formed from 19mm steel, and consists of two upright steel circles, each 360 cm in diameter, and three folded metal planes; the total length is 6 metres. It provides the students with a unique resting place among its massive unfurling bands and is the focal point of one of the university's busiest outdoor spaces, the Union Lawn

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