Roy Rasmussen - A tribute by Bruni Schling
Roy Rasmussen has gained an international reputation, exhibiting his work in many places throughout Europe, including Paris, Berlin; and also in North America. His work has been purchased for many private collections in different parts of the Globe.
His name has long been associated with many famous West End galleries in London’s Bond Street and Mayfair areas and last not least it was associated with FPS, which he chaired for many years. He was also the director the group’s own gallery “The Loggia” The National press once compared his work alongside the famed British based sculptor, Sir Jacob Epstein but Roy gained recognition and renown on the merits of his own style and search for idealistic perfection. He has taken beaten and welded metal further than any artist over the past century, and no-one has explored the possibilities of aluminium as sculptural material more.
However, Roy was much more than an accomplished artist. Much of his time and energy was spent on his work for FPS and various reputable galleries promoting contemporary fine art. FPS had played a major part in the 1950s in establishing more abstract and modern forms of expression in Britain and entered a particular fertile period on the 1960 under the aegis of Roy Rasmussen.
Although Roy was not a founder member of the group but joined only in 1957, he soon assumed posts of responsibility on the committee, followed by being voted in to take the Chair. It did not take long for Roy to become the director also of the group’s own gallery, the Loggia Gallery, which was established in 1973.
Artists, who have worked with him, remember him as kind and supportive and as a skilful manager. His children speak of him as a father, who involved them from an early age in his artistic enterprises. Roy had a hands on approach to art and the hanging of a show was of equal importance to him as the art. For Roy Rasmussen, the sophisticated artist, eloquent public speaker and competent manager were rooted in the family tradition of Danish craftsmen. He was apprenticed as a sheet cutter and panel beater, a craft with which throughout his life he earned his living. His artistic inspiration also came from his family. An uncle in America had impressed the young boy so much with his metal sculptures that he decided to follow in his footsteps. Roy was in every respect self-taught man. His unquenchable thirst for learning was reflected in his gigantic personal library of a few thousand volumes which he accommodated, together with his sculptures, in his small family home.
Maybe Roy’s deeply ingrained socialism also sprang from a family tradition. As a young man he wanted to volunteer in the Spanish Civil war, but was saved from this adventure by a girl he met and who later became his wife. Together they brought up a family with three children and Roy’s revolutionary spirit was confined to trade union activity and promotion of art and artists.
Since the halcyon days of Roy Rasmussen and FPS many things have changed but Roy’s spirit and ethos live on in a group that is committed to innovation, collaborative work and mutual support.