I understand
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1916 – 2002

July Figure (version two)
83 x 21 x 50 cm
Donated by Eric and Jean Cass through the Contemporary Art Society, 2012 © The Kenneth Armitage Foundation / Bridgeman Images. Photography Jerry Hardman-Jones

Armitage described his series of ‘July Figures’, made between 1975 and 1982, as ‘all standing figures with one feature in common: the forearms were sticking out in front. The reason for this was that we had heatwaves for several summers; it was so hot that I noticed I was walking round in the studio sticking out my arms rather than folding them.’

Armitage was born in Leeds and studied at Leeds College of Art and the Slade School of Art, London, before joining the army in 1939. He became known in the 1950s as part of the ‘Geometry of Fear’ group of artists, whose work connected abstract tendencies to post-war political anxieties.