Born in London in 1914 to Swedish parents, Karin Jonzen was a sculptor who worked across bronze, terracotta and stone. She started out in the modernist tradition in which she was trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and in 1939 won the Prix de Rome. Then, influenced no doubt by World War Two, her subjects became more figurative. During World War Two, she enlisted as a Civil Defence ambulance driver and was invalided out of the service with rheumatic fever. Jonzen stated that her illness gave her time to reflect and the modernist approach by artists such as Henry Moore, Constantin Brâncuși, Barbara Hepworth and Pablo Picasso, became alien to her concerns. She considered their works to be part of ‘"a wave of sculpture that did violence to the human form in an attempt to force it into some sort of aesthetic finality’”. Her terracotta figure, Seated Nude, testifies Jonzen’s commitment to her bold development of figurative sculpture. This work was the first sculpture to be acquired for the Arts Council Collection. It was purchased in 1951, the same year as The Festival of Britain.
- Artwork Details: 61 x 89.5 x 36cm
- Material description: terracotta
- Credit line: © the artist
- Theme: Nude
- Accession number: AC 178