Unusual Bill Fisher Brutalist Terracotta Head Bust

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Post by jd92 May 16th 2024, 11:01 am

Hi there,

Im new to this group. I have Bill Fisher Terracotta Brutalist head bust.
Would like to know more about it -if anyone can help.
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Thanks
James


jd92
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Post by Celtic_Fan May 16th 2024, 11:17 am

Welcome James.
What an introduction! That is a fantastic sculpture and very typical of Bill's work (one of his styles).
You'll find at lot more about Bill in this thread and another head in this style.
https://www.20thcenturyforum.com/t9401-bill-fisher-formerly-of-mousehole?highlight=Bill+Fisher

It's possibly a late 1950's / early 1960's sculpture, before his split with Maggi. But without a date (which they rarely have), a later date can't be ruled out and it could be 1970's.

Do you have any more of Bill's work?
Would love to see more photo's of this from different angles. What size is it?
Have you had it long, or is it a recent purchase?
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Post by jd92 May 16th 2024, 1:04 pm

Hi there,

And thank you very much for your response.
Its quite a recent purchase and is for sale (however, may be difficult to let go!)

I am aware that it was purchased in the 1950's in an St Ives gallery (the people i purchased from)
It is a pretty impressive large piece - approx 50cm high x 35 wide and is signed fisher on the bottom.

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Post by dantheman May 18th 2024, 3:45 pm

The 1950's date seems very early for a brutalist piece in the dark clay but very few pieces from the 50s have turned up

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Post by Celtic_Fan May 18th 2024, 6:15 pm

Dan, I don't see any reason to question a late 50's date.
I think most of Bill's larger, more detailed and 'experimental' work is probably late 50's and 60's.
It would make sense for his larger and heavier work to be from his younger days. He'd have been 44 in 1960, would he have been lifting heavy work of around 10-15kg in and out of the kiln in his 60's (mid/late 1970's)?

This piece is heavily and deeply detailed on most surface, which again I take to be his earlier work.
The colour is just a black 'paint' over the terracotta - tiny chips, show it's only ever 'skin deep'. I've seen this on both large and small items, well made and less detailed items. So I'm guess, both early and late. I didn't know if it was just painted on - but with hollow items like this being completely black, I guess means they were dipped?
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