Anthony Pryor, Untitled Sculpture
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.
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.