Vale: Inge King

Inge King, Germany/Australia 1915-2016 / Great planet 1976-77 / Steel, painted black/ Purchased 1977 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © QAGOMA

The Gallery is saddened by the recent passing of renowned German-born Australian sculptor Inge King in Melbourne on 24 April 2016.

A pioneer of Australian contemporary sculpture, King moved to Australia in 1951 and was a founding member of the Centre Five group of sculptors who came to prominence in Melbourne in the 1960s and had her first solo exhibition in 1969. She was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 1984.

A leading exponent of abstract sculpture, King’s Great planet 1976-77 exemplifies a great simplicity of form. Though Great planet can be mistaken for a piece of minimal sculpture, King always wished to make a personal statement conveying her ideas and emotions. Beyond its formally satisfying design, Great planet has an air of mystery, an aura of power and a commanding presence. When King began welding in 1959 she used steel – the industrial material of our age – in an expressionist manner, leaving the rugged texture of the welding as a contrast with the flat plates of steel. Over the years the texture was minimised and eventually disappeared while the forms became simpler and more monumental.