John Gibbons was born in Ireland in 1949. He studied at Limerick School of Art and Design, 1969–70, Crawford Municipal School of Art, Cork, 1970–72 and at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, 1972–76. John Gibbons currently lives and works in London.
John Gibbons has exhibited internationally including at the following galleries and institutions: Royal British Society of Sculptors; Charing Cross Hospital; National Portrait Gallery; Jesus College, Cambridge; Flowers Central, London; One Canada Square, Canary Wharf; Nograd History Museum; Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork; Kettles Yard; The Whitworth Art Gallery; Madeleine Carter Fine Art; Galerie Wentzel, Koln; Serpentine Gallery, London; The Triangle Centre; Nicola Jacobs Gallery; Project Gallery; International Arts Centre. In 2003, Gibbons was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.
Gibbons’ early work was made partly as a reaction against conceptual art, where the ideas or concepts held supremacy over the object. Gibbons’ work has always been concerned with pure physicality, with an emphasis on materials, form and construction. His materials have included scrap steel, bronze, and virgin stainless steel sheets and bars. In the late seventies, Gibbons made some small–scale pieces in lead, which because of its malleability required a different approach, resulting in sculptures that were compacted and folded in alternative ways. Deeply textural, his works are often designed to be located in unusual environments and in this way his works are meant to be inherently juxtapositional and integrally unsettling.