Albert Paley is a genuine virtuoso, a "magician of metal." He entered the art world over 50 years ago as a goldsmith, and now is a monumental sculptor of iron and steel.
"It was the plasticity of iron and steel that initially fascinated and attracted me," Paley says. "My experimentations gave me an understanding of these materials resulting in a design approach founded in paradox."
One of Paley's most important skills is his ability as a draftsman; the majority of the work is envisioned on paper before its execution. His work often has a striking plasticity, a flowering, blossoming quality which can be connected not only to his experience in the direct handling of materials, but in his fascination with European Art Nouveau.
Commissioned by public and private institutions, Paley has completed more than 40 architectural works, his first for the Smithsonian Institution in 1972.
He created the "Portal Gates" for the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of Art, and more recently. Completed "Sentinel," A 72' high, 120-ton sculpture at the Rochester Institute of Technology, his largest sculpture to date.
Paley is the first metal sculptor to receive the coveted Institute Honors Award from the American Institute of Architects, the AIA's highest award to a non-architect. "The allure of Paley's art comes through its intrinsic sense of integration of art and architecture," as one noted architect stated.
Pieces by Paley can be found in the permanent collections of many major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
"Movements basic to the organic, of which we are all a part, are made visible in steel," muses Paley. "This becomes a foil to human gesture, thereby resulting in empathy and anticipation through this visual dialogue."