Born in Bangor, Wales, in 1949, Richard Deacon has emerged as one of Britain’s most celebrated sculptors.
From an early stage in his career, Deacon experimented with different media and forms of expression. Drawing and writing, for instance in documenting performance, are an integral part of his practice. In his sculptural work, he uses a wide range of materials, including laminated plywood, concrete, stainless steel, and clay. These structures noticeably emerge from a deeply held interest in the nature of these materials themselves, as well as the way their form may relate to human association or sensory experience. Often seeming abstract at first glance, the sculptures’ forms billow, churn and ripple, approximating the anatomical, suggesting recognizable or organic shapes to the viewer without ever collapsing completely into the already familiar.
In addition to his work as an artist, Richard Deacon held professorships at the Ecole Normale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and other institutions.
Aside from numerous solo shows in museums in Europe, America and Asia, he has participated in many of the most significant survey exhibitions including the Carnegie International, documenta and Sculpture Projects, Münster. His works may be found in leading collections all over the world, including the Tate Gallery (London), the Centre George Pompidou (Paris), the Reina Sofia (Madrid), The Museum of Modern Art (New York City), and the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington).
Most recently, in spring 2014, his work was presented at Tate Britain in a major retrospective and in 2012/13 in a solo exhibition at the CAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga.
Deacon is the recipient of the 1987 Turner Prize and has been made Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1996. In 1997, he was awarded Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Ministry of Culture in France, and was elected a Royal Academician in 1998. The Akademie der Künste in Berlin elected him a member in 2010.