Gary Weisman — Breathtaking Bronze Sculptures
(American b. 1952)
Beginnings, Influences, and Progressions
Gary Weisman was born in Chicago in 1952. He studied drawing and sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, switching to sculpture full-time at the age of 13. He also studied drawing and sculpture at Washington University, then later received his degree from Columbia College. In addition to his formal studies, Weisman apprenticed with sculptors Jack Kearney, Leslie Posey, and Evangelos Frudakis.
Additional influences for Weisman’s pieces came from Romanian folk art sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) for his focus on primitive truth with a regard for the internal spirit of a piece, and French Sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) for his fragmented figures and his attempts to capture the body in motion.
Weisman’s early work faces back to the grace of line inherent in Greek classical sculpture, as well as the romance of the Italian Renaissance for its main energies. On numerous trips to Italy with his partner, painter Treacy Ziegler, Weisman and Ziegler filled sketchbooks as they drew in the museums non-stop for 9 hours a day. Weisman was drawn to the sacred paintings from the late Renaissance through Rococo. Since his own work is figurative, he noted the prevalence and acceptance of nude sculpture in Europe as opposed to the lack of approval for this type of sculpture in the United States.
As Weisman’s focus evolved beyond the study of form and space to a more narrative storied presentation, he worked to infuse his sculptures with meaning through dance. To this end, he watched hundreds of YouTube videos, taking screenshots, and using slow motion to capture dancers’ movements. Weisman often works in the sense of letting the piece become what it will and using reason only when necessary. Around 2012 he began working on crucifixes, doing crucifixes with women, such as “a bearer” and “deposition with window2ce”; he then produced a series of Greek heroes with weapons. He found both the crucifixes with women and the Greek heroes works kind of exciting, but he did not seek to explain them.
Weisman’s artistic mastery is evident in his contemporary design brilliance, his passion for his work, his attention to detail, and his years of sculptural contributions to the art world. His mythical works and his consideration of negative space as an essential part of the sculpture take the viewer to a point of immediate sensation and awe. He personally oversees all aspects of his creations from conception to completion in his studio and ceramic lost wax foundry. He mixes the clay and does the modeling for his pieces and often does bronze pours in the range of 1500 lbs. in a day. In the case of large pours in the 2300 lb. range, his students come from Philadelphia to assist for one or two days and stay in tents on his property. Weisman himself performs the meticulous final sanding and polishing of the pieces to bring up the rich patina of the bronze. Although the business is stressful, his success is evident in the sculptures he has in museums and private collections around the world. Despite his world renown, Weisman values his strong connections with personal collectors who send him emails and photos regarding what they get from his work.
Weisman taught drawing at Manatee College in Sarasota for 4 years, and then in 1986 was appointed to the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia where he taught and critiqued work until 2016. He taught because he is an idealist –– an artist who works for the love of a process, an artist who feels an experiential rapport with the metal and periodically asks himself if he is evolving. When questioned about balance pertaining to his “tabula rasa” bronze, Weisman rethought his use of the large base as it reduced the implied risk of the work. Weisman believes that everything can have an active or changing gender, a quality of just being. He believes that the bronze can tell the truth, so he works without posturing, always seeking to diminish ego in favor of the art.
A Brief List of Awards
2018-2019 MEAM, The Museu Europeu d’Art Modern, Barcelona, Spain
Albert Nelson Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award
Arcadia Contemporary Award in the 13th International ARC Salon
2017 Pennsylvania Academy Fellowship Nepal Residency
2013-17 ARC National Sculpture Awards
2003-18 Who’s Who in America
2004 Honored at White House, Washington, DC
Honored at US State Department, Washington D.C.
A Brief List of Selected Exhibitions
2019 Arcadia Contemporary, Culver City, CA
2018 ArtExpo NY, Stanik Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, New Orleans, La
The contemporary figure, Stanek Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
The New Nude, Poets and Artists
2017 Actuele Figuratie FORREAL Art Fair, Amsterdam
Morren Galleries, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Netherlands
John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Legend Galleries, Philadelphia, PA
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira Ny
Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary, Odon Wagner Gallery, Toronto, ONT
Stanek Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, “the animal I become”
Stanek Gallery, Philadelphia, PA “unveiled”
2016 Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA
Boston International Fine Art Show, Principle Gallery, Alexandria VA
Toronto International Art Fair, Odon Wagner Gallery, Toronto, ONT
Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
West End Gallery, Corning, NY
Sloane Merrill Gallery, Boston, MA
Weisman’s unique bronzes have worldwide prominence. Collectors who wish to acquire pieces by this renowned artist can look at some of the Dania Beach, FL auction houses, where the staff is more than pleased to assist with a search.
Selling the Works of Gary Weisman
Do you have works by Weisman that you are interested in selling, appraising, or cosigning? Call Joshua Kodner today, and ensure you receive the true value of your property.