After attending Luton College of Arts in the early 1950s, Wall's interest in the work of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth encouraged him to move to St Ives. Whilst working at the Tregenna Castle Hotel he met Peter Lanyon who helped him find a studio in Custom House Lane where he worked alongside Terry Frost, Trevor Bell, Patrick Heron and Sandra Blow. In 1955, he was introduced to Barbara Hepworth by Denis Mitchell and worked as her assistant on metal sculptures for several years. In 1956 he started making his own welded steel sculptures and was elected a member of the Penwith Society, exhibiting his work in the annual shows. Exhibitions at the Drian Gallery in London along with other St Ives artist's in the late 1950s brought his work to London which prompted his move away from Cornwall in the early 1960s. Exhibitions in London included Tate Gallery, British Sculpture in the Sixties (1965) and Battersea Park London, Sculpture in the Open Air (1966). His work was also included in an exhibition, Aspects of New British Art, which toured to five states in Australia the same year. In 1968 he was commissioned to produce a sculpture for the new town of Thornaby on Tees, which for many years was the largest contemporary sculpture in England.
Teaching at the Central School of Art in London along with their connections at the University of California enabled Wall to travel to San Francisco in 1969 where he worked as Visiting Professor at Berkeley University for a few months, finally moving to the Bay Area in 1972. Over the past thirty five years Brian Wall has exhibited in California and London. His work is represented in public collections in London, Ireland, Australia and America.
San Francisco, Hackett Mill Gallery 2011
Chris Stephens, Brian Wall, Momentum Publishing 2006, illustrated pages 52 and 54
Brian Wall first produced welded steel sculptures in 1956 whilst working as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth in St Ives. Exhibition success in the late 1950s prompted his move to London where he set up his own studio. One Curve was the first work produced which investigated the relationship between balance and cantilever using curved elements.