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Anthony Pryor, Untitled Sculpture

The Artist

According to the Douglas Stewart Art Gallery,  Anthony Pryor was born  in Melbourne in 1951.  Pryor studied sculpture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, later becoming a lecturer there. He has exhibited his work – in wood, granite and steel – in most states and overseas, and has won several awards.  Anthony Pryor died in 1991. His work is represented in the Australian National Gallery in Canberra and in the Victorian and Western Australian state galleries, as well as several tertiary and regional centres. Pryor is considered as an artist of  national significance.

Untitled by Anthony Pryor

The work of art

Untitled was created in 1979  from steel and  huon pine and has been  displayed in a  number of locations across the University of Canberra campus.  What seems as an abstract  sculpture of metal and wood  as a form of  public art, the sculpture actually works as an image when sunlight strikes  it and forms a  shadow of a hooded figure with a scythe. (hence the artwork is unofficially known as the 'grim reaper').  There has been some speculation  that the work was created in response to the AIDS / HIV outbreak in the 1980s  and the public television advertisements that involved a  grim reaper. However, the sculpture precedes  the outbreak but, the work of art makes an extraordinary talking point.

Many other  sculptures by Pryor show his  abilities to combine different material types to produce dynamic works of art in the abstract  expressionist realm. The examples below both come from private collections.

No 3 by Anthony Pryor The Performers by Anthony Pryor

Reference:

https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/57db867fd0cdd106508917f0

https://douglasstewart.com.au/product/anthony-pryor-sculpture-and-drawings-1974-1991-deluxe-edition/#:~:text=Born%20in%20Melbourne%20in%201951,Anthony%20Pryor%20died%20in%201991.