British, b. 1945
72 x 37 x 23 in. (182.9 x 94 x 58.4 cm)
Joseph H. Hazen Foundation Purchase Fund
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Lee Tribe constructed King—a human-scale welded steel assemblage—without referring to drawings or preconceived ideas for the sculpture, but rather by working directly and spontaneously with the materials available in his studio. He began with the central vertical form, which struck him, he noted, as suggesting the “presence of a figure rising up, standing proud.” This evocation persisted, he added, as “the sculpture took on a regal feeling which grew stronger and stronger, hence the name King.” Referring to the effect of his dense layering of lines, shapes, and chains onto the central core form, Tribe further remarked, “The process of making exists clearly and is at one with the image of the completed sculpture.” Steel has been integral to his life since his teenage years as a steelworker on the London docks. His early work was highly influenced by this industrial experience and helped him to explore the language and possibilities of non-representational sculpture.