Albert Paley: Portals and Gates at Iowa State University

Memphis GateThe exhibition, Albert Paley: Portals and Gates, consisting of over 50 works of art by sculptor Albert Paley opened on August 20, 2007 at the Christian Petersen Art Museum at Morrill Hall. Two companion exhibitions at the Brunnier Art Museum in the Scheman Building, part of the University Museums at Iowa State University, and at Hometown Perry, Iowa also opened on August 20th. Works of art have been selected from private and museum collections and will be on display through January 15, 2008. A publication on this subject is planned to coincide with the exhibition and the installation of Paley’s entrance portal to Morrill Hall, Transformation.

The exhibition and publication will present a comprehensive overview of public, private, and institutional passageways created by Albert Paley. Focusing on portals and gates, the selection includes drawings, models/maquettes in cardboard, wood and steel, in addition to full-scale gates that are forged and fabricated of steel, copper and bronze. The overview will span from the Portal Gates (1974) at the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D. C. to the recent Iowa State University art commission for the entrance to Morrill Hall.

The project will reveal the great diversity and exceptional quality of Paley’s work through an analysis of its formal characteristics and establish its significance through an examination of the aesthetic, symbolic and utilitarian function of these objects within American sculpture and architecture. It will identify those characteristics which define Paley’s distinct style and the uniqueness of these objects that are thematically tied together. The project will examine the many stylistic variations, both built and conceptual, providing an explanation of the concept, design process, chronology of forms and fabrication process. The striking manner in which Paley responds to each work of art will be revealed by documenting the transformation of gates and portals from utilitarian objects to an aesthetic symbol of passage. Essentially, this project will present the finest examples of Paley’s gates and portals to celebrate his place within the larger context of art and architecture.

Albert Paley has completed more than 50 works of art for both public institutions and private corporations over his 30-year career as one of the world’s foremost sculptors, including the Portal Gates for the New York State Senate Chambers in Albany; a monumental sculpture for a Federal Building in Asheville, N.C.; a plaza sculpture for AT&T in Atlanta; as well as a 65-foot sculpture for the entry court of Bausch and Lomb’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. Paley is a Distinguished Professor holding an endowed chair at the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

For more on the Albert Paley exhibits CLICK HERE

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