Robert Klippel: An Australian Sculpture and Teacher

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Robert Klippel (19 June 1920 – 19 June 2001) was an Australian Sculpture and Teacher. There were approximately 1,300 Sculptures and 5,000 drawings made by Klippel crammed into his little house for over 30 years and every single work has effected the way that modern art is today.

The beginning of Klippel’s path to become a celebrity in the world of art is his passion for model making at the age of 5. Most of his models were boats, which led him to his job in the Australian Royal Navy as a model maker.

In 1947, Klippel left Australia for London and attended the Slade School of Fine Art alongside many other famous artists. He then spent a year in Paris attending lectures but then decided to go home in 1950. In 1957 he sailed to the USA to work and live in New York. While in America, He taught sculpture at the Minneapolis School of Art for 4 years.

Klippel then returned to Sydney, which he remained until death. He enjoyed teaching at the Alexander Makie College but then retired and just stayed at home working on his own artworks.

Kippel’s working method in his studio was simple. He never stopped. Robert states in the video that he can have 20 to 40 artworks going at the same time and he would often keep working on sculptures for years

Klippel used a wide range of random materials to construct his sculptures: wood, stone, plastic toy kits, wooden pattern parts, typewriter machinery, pipes, machine parts, as well as bronze, silver, oils, photography, collage and paper. Most of these materials were recycled by him-self or found in the tip or on the streets. Klippel is notable for the great diversity of scale of his work, from intricate structures in metal to the large wooden works of art.

Klippel’s life influenced his sculpture constructing especially his experience in the Australian Royal Navy and in the Wool milling industry. Klippel was easily inspired and sometimes had a passion for the strangest things including circles, plastic toy kits, and...
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