b. 1944, Philadelphia, PA
For over 40 years, Albert Paley has firmly established his place as the pre-eminent American sculptor in metal. From his early masterpieces of modern jewelry and decorative arts to huge public commissioned sculptures, he has continually produced stunning and innovative works. It was his “intrinsic sense of integration of art and architecture” which led to Paley being awarded the prestigious Institute Honors from the American Institute of Architects, becoming the first metal sculptor to do so.
Paley’s critical acclaim and professional respect are easily understood. Regardless of scale, his works display complexity of shape, texture and composition. Individual elements are intricately detailed, becoming ribbons, tendrils, or aggressively jagged scales, making close inspection as rewarding as contemplation of the overall work.
Paley’s early jewelry work utilized elaborate forging techniques to create seemingly impossible decorative forms. His forays into larger works in steel led to a dynamically fluid vocabulary of sinuous forms and dramatically layered and intertwined forged elements. As his public commissions have become ever larger, he has incorporated digitally drawn laser components and industrial fabrication techniques to achieve his creative intent at large scale.
Paley’s work is featured world-wide in well-known collections, including MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the White House. He has created iconic works for specific sites, including the Portal Gates for the Renwick Gallery, Animals Always for the St. Louis Zoo, and a gate for the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. His history of successful exhibitions stretches back to the mid-1970s. In 2013, Paley on Park Avenue featured 13 monumental sculptures installed along Park Avenue in New York City, each piece created to suit its location. Most recently, Paley’s retrospective, American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., where one could view not just his finished pieces, but gain insight into the creative process through his drawings, models and maquettes.
Albert Paley’s professional career is grounded in his background in academia, in publications, and in international speaking engagements. As a Distinguished Professor, he holds an Endowed Chair at the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition to earning both a Bachelors and Masters of Fine Arts at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Paley has been awarded a Doctorate of Fine Arts four times over. Paley is showing no sign of slowing his career, remaining a colossus of American art to watch for the years to come.