Ken Adams. Artist

Portfolio of London sculptor and painter Ken Adams.
View paintings and sculptures in the categories of Geometric Abstract, Free Abstract and Direct Observation. UK.


Beginning and Continuing / Contact

Beginning and Continuing

I was born in 1933 in the north of England. Prior to studying art I took a degree in philosophy and psychology at Oxford University. I then went to the Slade School of Fine Art, getting the Diploma in painting in 1964. Older artists in my family gave me encouragement, as did the Austrian refugee artist Frieda Salvendi. My tutor at the Slade was B.A.R. Carter. He taught me Renaissance perspective and gave me the means to develop alternative perspectives.

My work has evolved over 50 years. I have engaged in many of the developments of the period. I have not been concerned to give my work a unique or consistent identity, although possibly others may find those qualities in it. I have not worked to a programme, although sometimes my attempt to solve a problem has led to a series having a certain logic. Each of my works must speak for itself. As an artist my commitment has been to follow the dictates of my imagination, wherever they may lead.

My first public showing, of abstract sculpture, was in the exhibition “Northern Sculptors”, in County Durham, in 1967. Throughout the 1970s I showed sculpture at many of the small West End galleries that then existed in London. These included O’Hana, AIR, Madden, Chelsea and Woodstock. Lyall Watson, who ran the Woodstock was himself a painter and gave solid support to my work. The Madden had connections in San Francisco, through which I sold my first bronzes.

My first one-person show, of 35 pieces of sculpture, was at Grabowski Gallery in 1972. Figuration was evolving out of abstraction. Mattheus Grabowski supported this development although it ran counter to the dominant trend amongst his gallery artists. Sculpture he retained from the show he later donated to museums in Poland.

I had sculptures in the Royal Academy Summer Shows in 1973 and 1975. I put up mini-shows in art festivals at Cheltenham and Surrey University. I also showed sculpture in Amsterdam, and Cologne. In 1976 Jo Seeber arranged a one-person show of sculpture at the Alamo in Mayfair, paired with the paintings of Philip Schiffmann . She also arranged a loan scheme for my sculpture.

In the 1980s I had sculpture in the Newcastle Polytechnic show “Small Works”. I took part in loan schemes for sculpture, and completed two sculptural commissions. Painting became more prominent, and figuration was evolving back into abstraction. In 1986 I had a show at the Diorama Gallery, London, paired with Julia Haddon. Bob Jackson gave me a one-person show of abstract paintings at Westleton Chapel Gallery in Suffolk in 1987. I wrote music under the name Praveera, which was technically related to the geometrical abstracts. It was performed in concerts in London and Cambridge, in conjunction with the group Objective Music, with the composer Laurence Hughes. I used graphic scores, which led in their turn into geometrical sculpture.

In the 1990s painting and sculpture became more closely interwoven. I had a second show at Westleton of mainly figurative painting and sculpture. I then had a larger show of 55 pieces at the Diorama Gallery (in a new location, now in its turn abandoned). Beardsmore Gallery, London, and Thompson’s Gallery, Aldeburgh showed my sculpture. I had bronze sculptures in the Royal Academy Summer Shows in 1997 and 1998.

In the new millennium Christian Duplessis represented my work until his retirement. I had exhibitions at his gallery (the Heifer) in 2000 and 2001. I did commissions in both painting and sculpture. Subsequently, in 2006, I showed a collection of landscape paintings, entitled “Spirit of Place”.

Since 2008, Rie Nijo of Koukan Gallery ( has represented my work. My retrospective show entitled “Spirit of Time: Five decades of Painting and Sculpture” was held at Koukan gallery in March 2009. I also contributed to the group show “Recollection” at the Lotus Foundation. In 2010 I again contributed to Recollection at Glassblowers, Bermondsey, and at Burgh House, Hampstead.