Joel Perlman




Continuing to encompass the circle as a primary compositional element, the artist’s latest body of work further explores the aesthetic boundaries of mechanized form, function and fluidity. As Philip Palmedo points out in Joel Perlman - A Sculptor’s Journey (Abbeville Press, 2006), the artist’s dynamic works, with their wheels rotating in subtly different planes, evoke an age in which the machine was a symbol of social progress.

Perlman has been creating variations on welded steel since the early 1970s and has been an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York since 1975. As is true of all significant sculpture made since the 1940s, in which geometry constitutes an important element structurally and compositionally, Perlman’s work acknowledges what is arguably the most important innovation in 20th century visual arts, Cubism. He also addresses the important inspiration of Russian Constructivist art. Overall, the admiration of the ingenuity and dynamism of industrial engineering and construction which informed their sensibilities is an important component of his approach to process and composition.

Working in bronze, copper, and steel, Perlman also achieves a level of iconography in works such as “Picasso Head” and “Copper Head.” Despite the differences of materials and scale, Perlman’s sculptures are deeply personal feelings revealed through the skill in his craft, his inventiveness, and the translation of his vision into metal. His work fully orchestrates the voices of both full and incomplete circular forms without losing any of the rhythmic power of his long-recognized command of the linear and rectilinear.

This exhibition is Perlman’s fourth at Kouros Gallery. His sculptures are in many prominent public and private collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Center, Los Angeles County Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, and Storm King Art Center, among others.

Joel Perlman - A Sculptor’s Journey (Abbeville Press, 2006) is available.