Australia born 1941
Sydney-based painter and sculptor, Ron Robertson- Swann, is one of Australia’s foremost exponents of the modernist tradition of assembled and welded metal sculpture pioneered in the 1960s by British sculptor Anthony Caro.
Having trained in the late 1950s at the National Art School in Sydney, Robertson-Swann travelled to London to study at the progressive St Martin’s School of Art where Caro was a highly influential teacher. Back in Australia in 1968, Robertson-Swann adopted Caro’s method of welding industrial plate, tubes, mesh, I-beams and found objects to create angular works that are open in structure, brightly painted and true to Caro’s quest to ‘remove sculpture from its pedestal’. Robertson-Swann states that his aim is ‘to develop (his) sculpture towards the condition of music’ and compares his method to drawing in space’.
Commissioned in 1978 for Melbourne’s new city square, Robertson-Swann’s most controversial work, Vault, was relocated soon afterwards in the wake of a rancorous public debate about its suitability for the location.