Richard Stankiewicz (1922-1983) Sculpture
September 09, 2003 - October 18, 2003
Untitled (bird), c. 1960
iron and steel
31 x 8 x 13-1/2 inches
Zabriskie Gallery exhibits a selection of sculpture made from the 1950s to the 1970s by Richard Stankiewicz (1922-1983), some not seen in New York since the time of the Hansa Gallery and the Stable Gallery. This exhibition coincides with Miracle in the Scrap Heap, the first major traveling retrospective of Stankiewicz's work that originated at the Addison Gallery in April and continues to New York City at the AXA Gallery (212-554-2018) from August 13-September 25.
Composed of welded pieces of junk metal, Stankiewicz's sculpture combines powerful formal integrity with a keen sense of wit and fantasy. Evoking African tribal sculpture as well as the detritus of an urban, industrial civilization, Stankiewicz bridged the figurative and the abstract to create a unique body of three-dimensional work. As much as any figure of the time, he helped to shift art-making away from the strict category of "sculpture" to that of "assemblage." Anticipating by half a dozen years the influence of Jean Tinguely in Europe, Stankiewicz expanded the possibilities of his medium and cleared the way for the radical artistic developments of the 1960s. Essentially linked both to the Nouveau Realistes in France and to their American counterparts - Nevelson, Rauschenberg, and the environments of Dine, Kaprow, and Oldenburg - Stankiewicz had a seminal influence on the international art of this period.
Born in Philadelphia in 1922, Richard Stankiewicz grew up in Detroit. He began painting and making sculpture while serving in the Navy from 1941-47. Stankiewicz studied with Hans Hofmann in New York during 1948-49, and spent 1950-51 in Paris at the schools of Leger and of Zadkine. After returning to New York, Stankiewicz joined the artists' cooperative Hansa Gallery, organized by former students of Hans Hofmann. It was there that Stankiewicz exhibited his work during the 1950s, before moving to the Stable Gallery in 1959. In 1962 he moved out of New York City to Huntington, Massachusetts. Stankiewicz continued to make sculpture and to be exhibited internationally until his death in 1983. Sculptures by Richard Stankiewicz are included in major museum and private collections throughout the world. Zabriskie Gallery has represented the work of Richard Stankiewicz since 1972, and is the exclusive representative of the artist's estate.
A fully color-illustrated hardbound catalogue for Miracle in the Scrap Heap is available with an introduction by Adam Weinberg and essays by Emmie Donadio, Jon Wood, and Martin Friedman.