Triton III

Stainless steel
487 x 426 x 730 cm
Edition of 6

As a former painter, Kneale began working with sheet steel because of the immediacy with which he could work. Rather than going through the laborious and staggered process of moulding and casting a work, sheet steel allowed him to work directly with a sculpture from its beginning to its final form. Kneale found this method to be liberating because it allowed his imagination to drive the piece, rather than working towards an abstracted outcome obscured by complex steps of technical process.

Triton III refers to the Greek god who was the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, god and goddess of the sea. Triton was known to use his conch shell to calm or raise the waves of the sea by blowing upon it like a horn.

Triton had the upper body of a male and the lower body of a fish’s tail. The composition of Triton III forms associations with this bi-form structure. Kneale’s use of stainless steel and varied finishes allows for the large surfaces at the base of the work to pick up the reflections of the blue sky reminiscent of the ocean depths in which Triton dwelled.

Triton also signifies ‘of the third’, a reference reinforced by this work’s composition and title.


About The Artist

In 1948 Bryan Kneale won the Rome Prize, and spent his time travelling in Italy where he was greatly influenced by the work of the Futurists and metaphysical painters. His early ambition was to be a painter, and on returning to London in 1951 he started to paint using palette knives as a method of ‘constructing’ with paint. In 1960, having learnt welding techniques, Kneale turned to three–dimensional work and held his first exhibition of sculpture. An overriding characteristic of Kneale’s work is an interest in linkages: the way in which separate forms are conjoined. Skeletons and joints of animals were explored through drawing and construction in metal. Kneale prefers to work directly in metal rather than modelling in an intermediary material before casting. Recent pieces have been constructed from spun steel domes, which Kneale cuts and re-aligns in abstract forms and finishes in a variety of ways.

‘Triton III’ is currently on display

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Visiting Information

Bryan Kneale

Born: 1930

Other Artworks by Bryan Kneale at CASS

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Bryan Kneale at the Royal Academy of Art