United Kingdom • 1910−2007
Stephen Gilbert (January 15, 1910 - January 12, 2007) was a British painter and sculptor. He was one of the few British artists fully embraced by the avant-garde movement in Paris in the 1950s.

Stephen Gilbert was born in Wormit, northeast of Fife, Scotland, into an English family. His grandfather, Alfred Gilbert, was the sculptor who created the Angel of Christian Charity, seen in Piccadilly Square.

Between 1929 and 1932 he studied architecture at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London, where he became friends with Roger Hilton. Stephen Gilbert won a scholarship to the Slade School at the end of his first year, and director Henry Tonks recommended that he begin painting in 1930. His early days in painting were marked by the influence of Cézanne. He also met sculptor Jocelyn Chewett at the Slade School, whom he married in 1935.

He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1936 and had his first solo exhibition in London at the Wertheim Galery in 1938. In 1937 he moved to Paris, where his wife studied with Osip Zadkine, and left before World War II . He was withdrawn from military service for health reasons and spent the war in Ireland, near Dublin, with his wife and son Humphrey. His work is inspired by Masson and his reading of Jung, Nietzsche and Jacob Boehme, with fantastical creatures and plants painted in vivid colors.

He returned to Paris in 1946 after the birth of his daughter Frances. He exhibited at the Salon Surindépendants in Paris in 1948, where he attracted the attention of the Danish artist Asger Jorn, who encouraged him to join the avant-garde artist group CoBrA. He, along with William Gere, is one of the few members of British descent. He participates in the first issue of the group's magazine and takes part in two major exhibitions: the Bregneröd Congress in August 1949, and an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in November of the same year, where he collaborates with Constant Nieuwenhuis A French art critic called him "the most French of English sculptors and one of the most European artists.

He also meets Max Walter Swanberg in Sweden . After the CoBrA period, his painterly approach became more abstract, but he remained in contact with Pierre Alechinsky after the dissolution of the movement.

In the 1950s he focused on three-dimensional works and architectural forms created from aluminum foil. He also co-founded the Neovision group and worked with the experimental architect Peter Stead. His work then evolved into more curvilinear forms, which he exhibited at the Dryan Galleries in London in 1961. He won a prize from the Kaulste-Gulbenkian Foundation in 1962 and a sculpture prize at the Tokyo Biennale in 1965.

His wife died in 1979, and his sculpture evolved into more enclosed designs. He resumed painting in the 1980s, and his paintings are in several public collections.

Gilbert died in 2007 in Frome, Somerset.

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