Hall’s works, principally made of polished wood or steel, are concerned with three dimensional space, mass and line. His abstract and geometric sculptures give as much prominence to voids and shadows as to the solidity of material and each work changes with light and viewpoint, reflecting the landscapes that inspired them. Hall’s grandfather was a stone mason and witnessing him cutting into a piece of Bath stone, Hall observed that the process created three elements: a line, an edge and a shadow. This “magical” realisation set him on a lifetime’s exploration of spatial and material ambiguity.
Hall’s most recent work in the exhibition is the installation, ‘Here and Now, There and Then’ (2016). Here, the “morphing” of a series of elliptical and circular shapes cut through 160 sheets of plywood is recorded in four monumental, rectangular blocks. The empty spaces inside are made concrete in the cut-away sections, stacked in the centre of the group. The installation marks a new direction for the sculptor, using a computer to chart the for example, how a pair of circles are transforms into an ellipsein three dimensional form. The results are surprisingly organic, undulating forms whilst the central totem takes Hall’s interest in the void to a new level.
Eight new and recent drawings deliberately leave charcoal sketches bare beneath ellipses of colour whilst polished wooden wall sculptures and free-standing steel and bronze works build on Hall’s continued concern with the human relation to form and scale, to the distances that surround and define us and to our gravitational sense of the vertical and the horizontal.
Nigel Hall was born in 1943 in Bristol and studied at The Royal College of Art, London, where he later became a tutor. After graduating he spent 2 years in the US on a Harkness fellowship. He was Head of MA Sculpture at Chelsea School of Art and a faculty member of the British School in Rome. He was elected Royal Academician in 2003. Annely Juda Fine Art has represented Nigel Hall since 1978.