Inge King

Inge King commands a distinguished place in Australian art. As one of our most significant sculptors, her work can be seen in many civic spaces, inviting interaction with the public, while responding to the surrounding environment. As an early female pioneer in what was essentially a male-dominated art form, she has been an inspiration for generations of younger artists and sculptors. King’s was a remarkable career that spanned eight decades. Born in Berlin in 1915, she moved to London just before war broke out, training at the Royal Academy and then at the Glasgow School of Art. In the late 1940s, she settled in London where she met her future husband, Australian artist Grahame King. In 1951 they arrived in Melbourne, where they built their Robin Boyd-designed home and studios, nestled in the bushland of Warrandyte. Inge King enjoyed an increasing range of public and private commissions both in Australia and overseas. Although she was trained in the classical tradition in wood and stone, King embraced modernism before she came to Australia. Experimenting with abstract forms, welded steel became her favoured medium as she responded to the ‘untidy’ Australian landscape. Her work evolved from roughly welded, painted steel (1960s) to large-scale, monumental structures in public spaces. In the last decades of her career, highly polished celestial forms reflected a newfound freedom and joy.