Richard Deacon was born in Bangor, North Wales, and studied at St Martin’s School and at the Royal College of Art, both of which are in London. His first solo exhibition was held in 1983 at Lisson Gallery, London, where he has continued to exhibit on a regular basis. His work has been shown worldwide and is included in many national museum collections. In 1996-97, the British Council exhibition Richard Deacon Esculturas 1984-95 was toured to Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Chile and Mexico. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1987, the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres by the French Government in 1996, was elected a Royal Academician in 1998, and was appointed a CBE for his significant contribution to the arts in Britain in 1999.
Deacon’s sculptures employ curvilinear forms made from a wide range of materials more traditionally associated with the manufacturing of industrial and domestic products. The works display both the method of construction and the craftsmanship involved in their making, through the surface details of screws and rivets, stitching or gluing used for material such as galvanised steel, corrugated iron, cloth, leather, linoleum and laminated wood. Since the 1980s he has produced a highly coherent and yet diverse body of work with sculpture which combines natural forms with an industrial sensibility, ranging from the domestic scale of his ongoing Art for Other People series to the monumental work for public commissions. Language and speech have played an important role in Deacon’s approach to his work: "I think of making things, structuring, as being an activity not unlike the power of speech, in that it is a means of giving shape - it’s obviously not in the same order as language, but it’s a means whereby the world, a chaotic universe, is actually made understandable."
Turning Points: 20th Century British Sculpture, British Council and Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 2005