Ralph Koltai CBE RDI is Britain’s senior and most celebrated Theatre Designer.
Remarkably he has embarked on a new and impressive challenge, returning to his roots as a 3-dimensional artist, creating a series of bas-relief sculpture / collages.
They are mostly made from found objects on farms near his studio in France. He selects panels or pieces, predominantly metal, and dissects them in a compositional form. He is working energetically, currently to a total of 40 works. Although they are not in themselves narrative, many spring from his former theatre designs that were themselves concieived in a similar manner. A sheet of rusty metal became a wall in Simon Boccanegra, a polished dish and sphere became the entrance to Caliban’s Cave in The Tempest and the root of a tree became the setting for Howard Brenton’s play The Romans in Britain.
His present work has evolved from his life-time approach to his stage designs and remarkably show how a true artist will create and re-create. Mostly they are wall hung, some others displayed on plinths.
Ralph Koltai was invited to make a walkthrough sculpture to form the entrance to the British pavillion at the Prague Quadreniale in June 2007. In 2010 he had an exhibition of his Metal Collage work at the Royal National Theatre.
Pamela Howard, OBE FRSA