CARL Plackman was one of the most challenging sculptors of his day and a generous and influential teacher.
For example, the Huddersfield-born artist taught Damien Hirst and exhibited alongside David Hockney.
Because his family moved away to Bath when Carl was only four, perhaps he has not received the acclaim in his home town that he deserves.
All that is due to change when the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Plackman's work since his death in 2004 is launched to run at Huddersfield Art Gallery from January 27 to April 7.
Beyond Appearances: Sculpture and Drawings by Carl Plackman (1943-2004) has been devised by Huddersfield Art Gallery as a touring exhibition with the support of Arts Council England and The Henry Moore Foundation.
It is already due to tour to The Stanley Picker Gallery in Kingston in Jan/Feb 2008 and other venues in the UK over the next two years.
The exhibition contains sculptures, installations and drawings created by Plackman from 1969 to 2004 including key works such as The Immigrant, recently purchased by the Tate.
Carl's grandfather was a Berlin jeweller who emigrated to Britain in 1918. Carl's father Percy Arthur was a Plachman when he was born but when he married Ethel May Cass from Mirfield, they registered as Plackmans.
Carl was born in Huddersfield on July 29, 1943, with his younger sister, Sandra, following 11 months later.
The family lived in Mirfield with their grandmother while Percy was serving abroad as a soldier.
Early life must have been tough. Carl's father had a shrapnel wound, his mother had a breakdown, the children for a time came back to Yorkshire - a deeply unhappy time when they stayed with different aunts - and Carl was a slow reader, possibly dyslexic.
It was only in 1962 while waiting to take up a place on a gymnastics course at Loughborough University that he filled in his year with an art course at The West of England College of Art, Bristol.
He went on to a diploma in art and design, and, accepted by both Slade and the Royal College of Art, he opted for a Master in Art at RCA and moved to Shepherd's Bush in London.
In 1969 while in studios with Richard Wentworth and Charles Dillon, a furniture designer, both from the RCA, Richard and Carl were stewards at a Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park held two days after the death of Brian Jones.
Next year he completed his Masters and began nearly 30 years of teaching at Goldsmiths College, during which he taught such artists as Damien Hirst, Liam Gillick, Phill Hopkins, Grenville Davey and Alison Wilding.
He exhibited in British Sculptors 1972, at the Royal Academy, when he and Nigel Hall were the youngest contributors in the show.
The following year he met his long-time partner Jane Patton who had just completed her Diploma in Art and Design at Goldsmiths. They were to marry in 1982. Their first two children died.
In 1974 the British Council bought three of Carl's drawings: Untitled (1972), Untitled (1973), and Living Contradiction (1973).
He had established an international reputation by the time he came back to Huddersfield with a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery in 1987.
By 1995, the position at Goldsmiths was beginning to take its toll on Carl and he was producing less and less work.
Four years later, unable to contend with the pressures if the post any longer, Carl resigned from Goldsmiths. At the same time he began to work fervently in the studio every day with a renewed energy and began producing a substantial body of work.
In 2002 Jane and Carl spent the summer in Alayrac, near Cordes, France in studios owned by collector Charles Irving.
A year later Carl became ill with lung cancer from which he died in January 2004.
After his death the Henry Moore Institute bought a number of his drawings and this year the Tate bought The Immigrant (1985/87), Not Kitachi II (1975) and Jane donated A Backward Look at Landscape (1984).
Another work, The Only Way to Catch the Soul, which Carl had donated to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children was returned to Jane.
* Beyond Appearances has been curated by Robert Hall and Sarah Brown for Huddersfield Art Gallery.
* The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Jane Patton Plackman and Jon Wood who co-ordinates the research programme and is a curator at the Henry Moore Institute.
* The exhibition has been devised with invaluable research and support from Jo Stanbury.
* Artists, colleagues, critics and friends provide a fascinating and illuminating introduction to Plackman as a man, mentor and artist in a book which is published to coincide with the exhibition.
* The book is a collection of images, sources and documents that relate to the work of Carl Plackman both as an artist and a teacher. Beautiful illustrations of his sculptures, drawings and sketch books sit alongside short texts by those who knew his work and who knew him.
* There are contributions by a range of curators and art historians exploring his sculpture and drawings. Together, all these different accounts provide a range of perspectives on the art and artist across a 40-year period. The book also contains an illustrated biography of Carl Plackman.