British sculptor, one of the most important figures in the development of abstract art in Britain. She was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, the daughter of a civil engineer, and won scholarships to Leeds School of Art, 1919–21, and the Royal College of Art, 1921–24. Henry Moore was among her fellow students at both places and became a lifelong friend. In 1924 she came second to John Skeaping in the competition for the Prix de Rome, but she obtained a travelling scholarship and spent the years 1924–5 in Italy, marrying Skeaping in Rome in 1925 (they were divorced in 1933). Her early sculptures were quasi-naturalistic and had much in common with Moore's work (Doves, 1927, Manchester Art Gallery), but she already showed a tendency to submerge detail in simple forms, and by the mid-1930s her work had become entirely abstract.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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