He studied at the West of England College of Art from 1945 to 1946, at Chelsea School of Art, London from 1947 to 1949 and at the Slade School of Fine Art, London from 1950 to 1951. He went on to teach at the Royal College of Art, London from 1960 to 1972, and at the West of England College of Art from 1967 to 1971. He was Governor of St Martin’s School of Art from 1970 to 1971, and was Head of the Department of Fine Art at the Central School of Art & Design, London from 1971 to 1975.
Clatworthy was represented by the Hanover Gallery, London during the 1950s, his first solo exhibitions being held there in 1954 and 1956. Subsequent solo shows were held at Waddington Galleries, London (1965), Basil Jacobs Fine Art, London (1972), Royal Academy of Arts, London (Diploma Galleries, 1977) and the Quinton Green Gallery, London (1986). More recently he exhibited at Austin/Desmond Fine Art, London and at the Keith H Chapman Gallery, which represented him. Among his major public commissions are Bull commissioned by the GLC for Roehampton, London and Horseman & Eagle, originally commissioned for 1 Finsbury Avenue and currently situated at Charing Cross Hospital, London. His work is held in many public and private collections around the world.
Clatworthy’s work has also been exhibited regularly in group shows since 1952, including Modern Sculpture at the ICA (1955), British Sculpture in the ’60s at the Tate Gallery, London (1965), British Sculptors ’72 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (1972) and 20th Century British Sculpture, Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath (1986).
In his later life, Robert Clatworthy lived and worked near Dyfed in Wales.