Description: Albert Paley
(American, b. 1944)
"Sphere Floor Lamp", 1994
patinated forged steel, frosted glass shade
cast signature and date on base.
h. 73-1/2", dia. 29"
Provenance: Galerie Simonne Stern, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Literature: Lucie-Smith, Edward and Albert Paley.
The Art of Albert Paley: Iron, Bronze, Steel. New York: N. Harry Abrams, 1996.
Notes: "With forged iron, I deal with plasticity. I'm dealing with vulnerability. I have no idea of what I'm capable of doing. It's only through the process and experience that I understand what my possibilities are and what my limitations are. If I don't challenge myself, I have no idea. I have just one time to do this."
Albert Paley, a contemporary metal sculptor and endowed Professor of Art at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, is one of the world's leading metalsmiths, well known for the famous Art Nouveau-style Portal Gates he created in 1974 for the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He has created more than fifty site-specific sculptures and an impressive line of furniture design that is seldom offered at auction. His works are in the collections of major museums throughout Europe and the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. And he is the first sculptor to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects.
Before his career took off with the Renwick commission, Paley was first a jewelry designer in the late 1960s at the height of the Art Nouveau revival, creating large sumptuous pieces of twisted gold, copper and semi-precious stones that swirled and flowed like botanical forms that bespoke of the psychology of the times that Paley described in an interview with NPR as creating "a sense of self, a sense of bearing... What does jewelry do to the individual[s]? How does it manifest their ego or their presence?" Paley's early proclivity for how to "emotionally and intellectually engage the viewer" through metallurgy underlies all of his work. As stated in the opening quote, Paley's sculptures are a tour de force of forged movement, of synthesized line, form and ambiance through the literal and symbolic transformation of states, between elasticity and the inelastic ore, associated with modern industry.
Paley studios decor line is yet another extension of this aesthetic exploration that specializes in lighting, another key element in architecture. "Sphere Floor Lamp" coaxes new forms that are both fluid and flotsam, sculpting unity and deconstruction through the inertia of bending, power lathes and pneumatic hammers that exemplify Paley's virtuoso.
References: Paley, Albert.
Paley Studios. Scriptable Solutions. 2018. Web. 21 Feb. 2018; Stamberg, Susan. "With Swirls Of Steel, These Sculptures Mark The Passage Of People And Time".
NPR. 22 July 2014. Web. 22 Feb. 2018.
Condition Report: **In overall very good condition with no visible losses, cracks or repairs.
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