Born in London, Abrahams first attended the University of Cambridge, where he read English, and went on to study painting at the Anglo-French Art Centre in London. After a successful career in the world of advertising he returned to his artistic practice full time in 1991.
Known for his stylistically distinctive figurative sculptures, Anthony Abrahams’ work fuses formal excellence with an emotive representation of the body and painterly flair. Made by initially constructing wood and steel armatures and covering them in plaster, the moulds are then cast into bronze using the lost wax process. This achieves the quality of texture so key to Abrahams work, as chisel marks, scratches and the evidences of construction are preserved on the skins of his subjects.
Anthony Abrahams’ work speaks both of human strength and frailty. In Searching I and II, the half-formed figures can be read as depictions of either growth or disintegration, striving or ‘searching’, for a bodily autonomy their lack of limbs and other parts prohibit. Skating and Leaning also explore notions of the corporeal in their study of pose and posture. Abrahams is not interested in monumentalising these simple physical acts but manages to negotiate the most delicate, intimate elements of movement into sacred portraits of human endeavour.
Abrahams work is a celebration of an inner power, confidence and vitality that come with age and there is above all an overpowering sense of determination and beauty in these bodies. Often his dynamic and emotive figures also explore the difficult subject of the inner spirit at conflict with the outer body and confront us with desires that struggle to become resolved with their exterior forms. In the first catalogue of his work, Edward Phelps described Abrahams’ outlook as:
“sometimes tender, sometimes sad…a tolerant understanding of the frailty and transience of human aspirations, a perception of our precarious hold on life.”
Recently Abrahams has been experimenting in making works in carved marble. Abrahams’ work is held in private collections in the UK, USA and Europe. He lives and works in Gloucestershire.