Paul Simon

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about the artist
exhibitions
education and background
collections
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overview

From my teenage years I’ve worked with wood and metal. Metal has tended to be reserved for my more formal work, in which sketches are converted and embodied into 3D form. My early woodwork up to the 1970’s followed the same path. Influenced by: Clement Meadmore, David Smith, Gabriel Kohn, Herbert Ferber and George Sugarman, I developed my first style, which I call The Fluid Cube, and which continues to the present. (see Lovers/steel, Homage to Carmen de Lavallade and Greatest Fear No. 1.)

In 1993, on vacation in Carmel, California, while walking the beach, a small half-buried piece of wood caught my eye. With no preconceived goal, I began carving it and became aware of strong signals that the wood was sending me. I deliberately let it take control, while unconsciously synthesizing all my training and sculptural ideas into the process. I stayed physically and visually close to the piece to prevent over-analysis and planning, and suddenly it ended in a highly satisfying abstract “totem”. It was my most complete piece of work to date.


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about the artist

From my teenage years I’ve worked with wood and metal. Metal has tended to be reserved for my more formal work, in which sketches are converted and embodied into 3D form. My early woodwork up to the 1970’s followed the same path. Influenced by: Clement Meadmore, David Smith, Gabriel Kohn, Herbert Ferber and George Sugarman, I developed my first style, which I call The Fluid Cube, and which continues to the present. (see Lovers/steel, Homage to Carmen de Lavallade and Greatest Fear No. 1.)

In 1993, on vacation in Carmel, California, while walking the beach, a small half-buried piece of wood caught my eye. With no preconceived goal, I began carving it and became aware of strong signals that the wood was sending me. I deliberately let it take control, while unconsciously synthesizing all my training and sculptural ideas into the process. I stayed physically and visually close to the piece to prevent over-analysis and planning, and suddenly it ended in a highly satisfying abstract “totem”. It was my most complete piece of work to date.

The path I have followed since, I call Suggestures. Having always been aware of the anthropomorphic gestures inherent in trees, I began finding my materials in the woods, especially where aggressive waters flow. I spontaneously search for and gather those branches, vines and roots which either suggest human-like gestures, or where the forms are intrinsically unique or beautiful.

My relationship with the wood remains mostly spontaneous, which also guides my (love of) craft and process. Currently, the wood pieces tend to fall into two new styles. The Tree Lanky series, which are assemblages (See Tree Lanky Tango), and single-element carvings such as The Hiding Shark. Since I consider (the random beauty of) nature to be the greatest “object-maker”, my collaboration and harmony with my natural medium has allowed me to create a fuller image of my own nature and represent myself sculpturally, with more clarity and honesty.

In whichever style or medium I work, I bring an intensity and perfectionism which demands that every facet, edge and detail say exactly what I want it to say sculpturally. This usually allows me to feel I have made a successful statement. It is always a time-consuming process. My one style which is the exception, I call my “readymades”, after Duchamp. Some materials, lying around the studio, catch my eye, and working in rapid, less-refined methods than usual I can assemble a satisfying piece in a couple of hours or days, that represents a departure and relief (see Homage to Pablo and Georgia and Studio Guardian).

At present, I am expanding to a mixed-media approach by introducing a new material, vinyl, into a wood and metal assemblage. That has the potential of moving my sculptural focus in new directions.


exhibitions

  • 1964, Aegis Gallery, 10th Street, NYC — Group Show: Graduate prints exhibition, Wagner College
  • 1967, Les Fleurs Gallery, Long Island, NY
  • 1969, 2nd Annual NY Regional Exhibition of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, Avanti Gallery, NYC
  • 1971, 34th Annual Exhibition, Munson Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, NY
  • 1972, Faculty Exhibition, Hathorn Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • 1973, The Artist Gallery, New Haven, CT: New Haven Showcase of the Arts; Daggett Street Exhibition, Artworks Gallery, Mattatuck Community College
  • 1975, Contemporary Artists section, The Whole Sex catalog, Pinnacle Books, NYC
  • 1976, “Contemporary Reflection” Exhibition, Larry Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
  • 1980, The Honey Sharp Gallery, Lenox, Massachusetts
  • 2008, New Hope Arts Gallery, Works in Wood, New Hope, Pennsylvania

education and background

BFA—1963 Brooklyn College (Brooklyn, NY)

  • Studied under Al Reinhardt, Burgoyne Diller, Philip Pearlstein, Jimmy Ernst
  • Senior drawing award

MFA—1965 Brooklyn College

Doctoral Work: 1968-69 Illinois State University (Normal, Illinois)

  • Fine Art
  • 1968-69, Teaching Assistant, Illinois State University
  • 1969-72, Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY) — Assistant Professor
  • 1972-78, Mattatuck Community College (Waterbury, CT) — Assistant Professor
  • Business
  • 1978-81, Designer/Craftsman — Independent Custom Furniture
  • 1981-86, LCS, Inc. (Bronx, NY) — General Plant Manager, Designer Furniture Factory and Showroom
  • 1986-2005, AML Simon Inc. (West Orange, NJ) — Owner/Operator, Custom Designer Metal Work Shop
  • 2005, Retired

collections

  • Mattatuck Community College, Waterbury, CT
  • Dr. F. Gorelick, Stony Creek, CT
  • Dr. & Mrs. J. Lichetenstein, Woodbridge, CT
  • Dr. & Mrs. S. Mejia, New Haven, CT
  • Mr. & Mrs. J. Romanow, New Haven, CT
  • Mr. & Mrs. H. Silverman, New Haven, CT
  • Ms. M. Harrell, New Haven, CT
  • Ms. J. Basile, Washington, DC
  • Dr. & Mrs. R. Hoffman, New Haven, CT
  • Ms. Cynthia Miller, New Hope, PA
Artisan Direct, Limited. 82 Callingham Road, Pittsford, NY 14534. Telephone 585-586-3535, Fax 585-586-8555, e-mail: info at artisan direct L T D dot net
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