Untitled, painted steel roads and granite stones created by lifelong Chicagoan Jeffrey Breslow. A nature lover, his inspiration unusually starts from nature; in this case stones. He received his BFA degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois where his instructor Edward Zagorski introduced him to design—a dimension of creation beyond making and shaping.
His enthusiasm for design brought a sense of play to his fascination with form and construction and soon he recognized that designing children’s toys and games was the perfect synthesis. Breslow spent 41 years as a renowned toy designer and was president and CEO of Big Monster Toys until 2008 when he chose to pursue his first passion of sculpting full-time.
His solo exhibition Boulder & Boulder appeared at Willis Tower in Chicago. Other exhibitions include the International Sculpture Outdoor Exhibition in Chicago, the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, and One of A Kind Show at The Merchandize Mart in Chicago.
Artist Statement: My Abstract Sculptures begin with extraordinary boulders and stones, the shapes of which inspire my steel structures. All of which kindles a conversation between human creativity and the natural world. My sculptural forms cause the viewer to appreciate a common connection to nature and affirm the ability to shape our world in exceptional ways.
Mingus II, welded steel sculpture, was created by Brooklyn native Richard Heinrich. He listens to music as he works in his Tribeca studio, and the titles of his work often reflect the strong influences of Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and others.
Works by Richard Heinrich can be seen in the collections at The Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo in Purchase, New York; Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Brunswick campus; the New York Public Library in Manhattan; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; and at corporate headquarters and private homes across the country.
He has exhibited his sculptures at a variety of shows including the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art in Ohio, Hofstra University in Hempstead on Long Island, Manhattan Community College, and at Pier Walk 98 in Chicago.
Artist Statement: I have been a sculptor for more than five decades, working most of the time in steel. My grandfather founded the Heinrich Iron Works in 1905 in Brooklyn. My father, a civil engineer, passed on the construction affinity to me and as an art student I gravitated to the material. Steel is incredibly malleable and very strong. It can withstand stress and bad weather like no other sculpture material. Bronze is prone to rot and marble can chip and break. Wood can be carved but will burn and splinter. And as an added incentive steel is very inexpensive. My lower Manhattan studio and home afford me the opportunity to see and interact with the robust art environment in New York City. To have work in a sylvan glade in New Jersey is a pleasant contrast to the hurly burly of Manhattan.
Oxidized Pod, welded mild steel, was created by Robert Koch. His large (72”) welded work exemplifies his love of nature. Using rigid and lifeless materials, his work centers solely on steel sculpture inspired by organic movements found in nature. Each piece attempts to challenge the inherent behavior of the materials as if to capture aspects from nature such as the movements of a leaf in the wind, the swaying of reeds, or even the split second a seed begins to germinate.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, his interest in art started at an early age. He attended Kutztown University, where he studied art education. Over the course of nearly 20 years, he created functional stoneware pottery and traveled the east coast selling work at art festivals. In 2000, he registered in a metal sculpting class at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and knew immediately that this indeed was a calling. In 2004, he made the life-changing decision to move from rural Pennsylvania to the NYC area and transition Robert Koch Studios as an artist working solely on steel sculpture.
Robert’s list of public and corporate commissions is rapidly growing. His work recently received a place of honor in his adopted hometown of Jersey City. The Mack-Cali Realty Corporation has installed his nine large spheres in its headquarters, the Harborside Atrium. The orbs descend from the ceiling at various heights, and the dark globes of open metalwork are illuminated against the white ceiling glass.
Recent group exhibitions of his work included Celebrations and Beginnings II at OTA Contemporary in Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Iyemoja is an Orisha from the Yoruba religion of West Africa. She is the protector of all women, governing childbirth, conception, love, and healing. According to myth, when her waters broke, it caused a great flood creating rivers and streams. Iyemoja also traveled in slave ships to the Americas where she evolved into a revered goddess of the sea among practitioners of Brazilian Umbandu and Candomble, Cuban Santeria, and Haitian Voodou.
James Tyler’s Brickhead installations are unique colossal heads that invite us to identify with the world’s ceramic heritages. They bring today’s faces together with pre-Columbian, South American, Native American, Asian, African, and Western influences. Gallery Director Mark Ruschman noted, “There is something timeless in Tyler’s Brickhead sculptures, reminiscent perhaps of the temple carvings of Angkor Wat or the great Toltec heads of Central America. Yet they are clearly contemporary, relics of a civilization not yet past…The ponderous weight of the brick constructions is juxtaposed with the ethereal nature of time.” At the same, the heads are stylized portraits of everyman and everywoman. They are unique yet universal. They are us.
For ancient peoples, colossal stone and clay heads, such as those created by the Toltec, Olmec and other cultures in central Mexico, often symbolized their connections with the spirits they worshipped, and these, in turn, often represented the elements, such as rain and sun, or other larger-than-life phenomena, such as death and love. Each culture created large heads to suit its own purposes. The Toltecs created large ceramic heads symbolizing their indigenous culture and values, yet scholars differ in their analyses of the origins and meanings of these works. Tyler’s easy way of replacing the gods with our own visages is, in a way, Socratic. Socrates insisted that the gods on Mount Olympus were only representations of a higher being. By choosing to represent all of humanity, the here and now that exists outside of cultural considerations, Tyler is having his own Socratic dialogue with pre-Columbian artists. [From Tyler’s website, tylersculpture.com]
Dyad, a welded steel abstract plant sculpture, was created by artist Martha Walker. Her metal sculptures, made from meticulously dripped molten steel, often express something deep and personal. Her large (6’10”) ‘Dyad’ is based on the scientific double helix and associated with romantic love. Her process of dripping liquid steel one drop at a time in order to build up massive forms allows for a unique combination of texture and line rarely seen in steel.
Martha attended Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, where she obtained a BFA degree in Fine Arts and a Master degree in Art Education, Honors.
Recent group exhibitions of her work include Currently 80, Sculptures Guild Group Show at the Westbeth Gallery, New York; Summer Exhibition, Studio 80+ Sculpture Grounds; New Conceptions, Sculpture Guild, Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation, New York; Texas Contemporary International Art Fair, Denis Bibro Fina Art; Politics in Art: From Warhol and Rauschenberg to the Present Day, Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York.
Recent solo exhibitions include Turning Inward, Denis Bibro Fine Art, Chelsea, New York and Broken World, Anxious Heart, The Sylvia Wald and Po Kin Gallery, New York.
In 2019, her “Separation Anxiety” sculpture was selected for the final episode of season seven of ‘Orange is the New Black’ television show.
Artist Statement: Throughout my tedious process, time passes quickly, while at the same time, stands still. I am fueled by an obsessive drive to create something personal and unique through my art with the finite time that my life affords me. With every line, each silhouette, and form, I ask myself: Is it pure? Is it Me? Have I shown integrity in my process to reflect my own truth? The results must be as strong and effective as humanly possible. For me, that is all that there is.
A Sculpture Trail will have 15 sculptures by the time it is completed.