Kallos Gallery

4th September 2018


Kallos Gallery and Stephen Cox, R.A. present Ancient Stone. A collaboration inspired by the materiality of stone and featuring sculptures from antiquity alongside contemporary works.

On view from 1 October to 2 November, Stephen Cox X Kallos Gallery: Ancient Stone will feature a selection of important antiquities alongside approximately 15 contemporary sculptures by Stephen Cox, an artist renowned for his knowledge of ancient sculptural techniques, traditions and materials. The exhibition will include works in porphyry, marble, sandstone, granite and flint.

Madeleine Perridge, Director of Kallos Gallery: “It’s an honour and a great pleasure for us to be working with Stephen in staging this exhibition. He has an amazing knowledge and appreciation for the ancient traditions of stone carving and it’s been a unique and fascinating experience to work with him on this show, and particularly to observe an artist’s approach to the inherent qualities and potential of ancient stone. We hope that the selected works on show – both ancient and modern – bring to the fore the timelessness of great art and creativity.”

Stephen Cox, R.A.: “The invitation to exhibit at Kallos Gallery aligns seamlessly with my practice as a contemporary artist. To set examples of my sculpture alongside antiquities from the Kallos collection is to underscore the continuities of the lithic imagination over millennia, whatever the idiom.”

Highlights by Stephen Cox include a maquette of Cycladic Gemini, the full-scale edition of which was most recently seen at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2018 where it had a prominent position in the Wohl Entrance Hall and McAulay Gallery. The ancient Cycladic culture flourished in the Aegean during the early Bronze age and is most recognised for its carved abstract figurines. This work continues a long tradition of Cycladic art influencing modern art; both Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore owned examples. Another sculpture which will be included and was also shown at the Summer exhibition is Figure: Deposition, a piece exquisitely carved in porphyry, an exceptionally hard and valuable stone prized since the time of the ancient Egyptians. They will be shown alongside important examples of stone sculptures from a range of ancient civilisations including an Egyptian early dynastic anorthorsite gneiss bowl, an Achaemenid head of a bird of prey carved from flint and a Roman marble torso of Narcissus.

Stephen Cox R.A. (b. 1946) is a British sculptor who works predominantly in hardstone. Inspired by the ancient stone-carving civilisations of the Mediterranean and India, he uses his knowledge of traditional skills and techniques to carve hardstones including marble, alabaster and porphyry. He was elected an RA in December 2010. Stephen studied at the West of England College of Art, Bristol (1964-65), Loughborough College of Art (1965-1966), and the Central School of Art and Design, London (1966-1968).

In the 1980s he travelled to Italy where he worked in the stones listed by Giorgio Vasari in his treatise on technique, published as an introduction to ‘The Lives of the Artists’, and mentored by the writings of Adrian Stokes. In the mid-1990s he was invited by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to produce a sculpture for the New Cairo Opera House which led to the fulfilment of his ambition to work with porphyry, a stone listed by Vasari amongst the decorative marbles in use during the Renaissance that did not come from Italy. Through the Egyptian ministries of Culture and Minerals, Stephen was given permission to procure porphry from the Roman quarries that had been the sole preserve of Roman Emperors.

He has created a number of major public commissions in the UK, Australia, Italy, Egypt and India and his work has been shown at leading museums around the world including the National Gallery, the British Museum, Tate Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He represented the United Kingdom at the sixth Indian Triennale in 1986 in New Delhi where he won the gold medal and has also been shown at the Paris Biennale (1977) and the Venice Biennale (1982 and 1984). He has been the subject of solo shows at Arnolfini Bristol and MOMA Oxford (1985), Tate (1986), Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (1994), Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (1996), Dulwich Picture Gallery (1997), Pizza del Duomo and Santa Mari della Scala Siena (1999) and Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery (2006). He lives and works in a former farmhouse at Clee Hill in Shropshire, England, and has a second home in Mahabalipuram, India.

For any further information and images, please contact:

Matthew Paton: info@patonarts.com / +44 (0) 7711 112425