An English abstract artist, primarily a sculptor, Robert Adams studied at Northampton School of Art from 1933 to 1944. His first one-man show of sculpture was held in 1947 at Gimpel Fils Gallery, London. His early sculpture showed influences of Henry Moore, however following the Gimpel show he visited Paris, becoming interested in Brancusi and Julio Gonzalez whose influences led to a greater simplicity of form in his work. In 1950 he received a Rockefeller award from the institute of International Education to visit the USA.
Robert Adams encountered Victor Pasmore and the London Group of artists which included Adrian Heath, Anthony Hill, Kenneth Martin and Mary Martin as a result of his teaching post at the Central School of Art & Design in London in 1949.