News & press

Norman Dilworth

February 1, 2023

The Redfern Gallery is sad to announce the passing of Norman Dilworth, sculptor, painter, draughtsman and printmaker, who died on 25 January at the age of 92. 


Born in 1931 in Wigan, Dilworth studied at the local school of art before enrolling at the Slade in 1952, where he was attached to both the painting and sculpture departments, at the suggestion of William Coldstream. After receiving a French Government scholarship, Dilworth moved to Paris in 1956, where he befriended Giacometti. 


It was in the Netherlands, however, where Dilworth spent most of his life, and found much success. After a solo exhibition at the Hague, Dilworth went on to show his Constructivist sculptures regularly across the country over the next three decades, and also undertook numerous public and private commissions, many executed on a monumental scale.


An interest in mathematics and formalism underpins much of his work, and he variously came to associate with the Systems Group of artists, as well as with the Concrete and Constructivist art movements. Dilworth was included in Constructive Context, organised by Stephen Bann for the Arts Council of Great Britain, which toured the UK during 1978, and later in the retrospective of British Systems artists, staged at the Foundation for Constructivist and Concrete Art in Zurich.


In 1980, Dilworth co-curated Pier + Ocean, a seminal exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London, which explored the relationship between Constructivist Art and the international avant-garde movements of Land Art, Arte Povera, Minimalism and Conceptualism. Among the many artists taking part were Carl Andre, John Baldessari and Mario Merz.  


Dilworth moved to Lille in 2002, and the Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-­Cambrésis, staged a major retrospective, in 2007. His first show at the Redfern Gallery was held in 2017, from which the Art Fund purchased the wall-piece, Signs, for Leeds Museums and Galleries. Most recently, in 2019, Dilworth became the first British recipient of the prestigious Peter C Ruppert Prize for Concrete Art in Europe.