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 Bill Mack  (1949 - )

About: Bill Mack


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Lived/Active: Minnesota      Known for: figure sculpture

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BIOGRAPHY for Bill Mack
1949 (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Often Known For
figure sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Bill Mack, creator of relief sculpture, experiments with materials and strives for elegance and precision of cast bronze without the weight inherent in the media. As well, he has worked with materials ranging to snow-white sand resins to materials that evoke travertine marble. Lately, his usage of the patinas has transformed his bronze and mixed metals sculptures into something that may seem "otherworldly" to viewers.

"Calling my artwork bas-relief, " Mack says "is incorrect, since bas-relief technically refers to low relief sculpture. My art has more physical depth than high relief; it incorporates various elements in the round, rising toward the viewer, as in my Illusion image where her leg leaves the background extending into space."

Mack was born in Minneapolis and was the first in his family to develop an interest in art. He was working as a bronze caster and draftsman when, at 17 years old, he found that a memorial relief sculpture being submitted for casting was, to his standards, substandard. So he decided to submit his own design, which was accepted instantly.

He has worked tirelessly developing his new media and creating pieces as diverse as eagles and horses, to mother and child images and athletes to nudes. Once emerging on the scene in the early 1980's, Mack enjoyed tremendous popular success combining the three-dimensional qualities of full-round sculpture with the bas-relief (low relief) of the backgrounds to create the sense of emergence.

Mack has exhibited in Tokyo, New York, Beverly Hills, Frankfurt and his works are included in the private collections of Presidents Ford, Reagan and Clinton, Sylvester Stallone, Tony Curtis, Elizabeth Taylor and Kenny Rogers, as well as many others. He has sculptures on display in the NFL, NBA, NHL and Tennis Halls of Fame, the Statue of Liberty National Monument and his work has been featured in movies and television.

Collection Privee Fine Art

Biography from American Design Ltd.:

He is the only artist in the world doing it.  He has no mentors. There is nowhere to go to learn his art.  No one teaches his technique. In fact, sculptor Bill Mack works in such a rare art form that coming up with a name to describe it has been only slightly less arduous than creating the art itself.

"Calling my artwork bas-relief", Mack says, "is incorrect since bas-relief technically refers to low relief sculpture.  My art has more physical depth than high relief; it incorporates various elements in the round, rising towards the viewer, as in my "illusion" image where her leg leaves the background extending into space.  Technically sculptures combining various levels of relief and full round parts are called "Alto Relief" sculptures. A similar technique has been used on classic Roman and Greek buildings.  However, until I offered my current collection of sculptures, this art form had not appeared to any extent in galleries."

Combining low and high relief, incised lines, and elements in the round in sculptured works that are light enough to be hung on a wall, Mack directly involves the viewer in a 3-dimensional experience, both textural and tactile, that is often starteling real. "Mack's art elicits an immediate emotional response", notes one critic. "A moment in time is stopped, a familiar face revealed, the grace of a body in motion captured. The viewer becomes more than an observer; he becomes a participant in the drama unfolding before his eyes."

For over twenty-five years, Mack has paid his dues, working mostly as a privately-commissioned artist - from miniature medallic works such as the bicentennial medals for the State of Minnesota and the cities of St. Louis and Baltimore, to reliefs and full-round sculptures for corporations such as General Motors, Pillsbury, and 3M. Then, in the early 1980's Mack made a venturous artistic move and entered the competitive gallery world with his "Alto Relief" sculptures. Today, in the popular contemporary arts, he is developing a major following.

He made a spectacular debut in New York and, in a remarkably short time for a contemporary artist, Mack has achieved worldwide acceptance.  He has had exhibitions in galleries from New York City to Beverly Hills, and from Tokyo to Lucerne.  His work is in the collections of former Presidents, Carter, Ford, and Reagan; actor and renowned art aficionado, Sylvester Stallone; international business leaders Mrs. Yaeko Shiotsuki, Tokyo; Hermann Schnabel, Hamburg; "Corporate Raider" Irwin Jacobs; and celebrities as diverse as actors Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Curtis, comic Howie Mandel, and record producer Jimmy "Jam" Harris.  His piece entitled "Lady" is part of the permanent collection at the Statue of Liberty National Monument on Liberty Island and his sculpture of basketball great Karem Abdul-Jabbar hangs in the entry of the NBA Hall of Fame, and there is a planned presentation to the Vatican of a bronze relief entitled "Madonna of the Butterfly".

Biography from
Bill Mack.

The impact of Bill Mack's art is achieved not only by his dramatic portrayal of the human form, but also by the utilization of a wide variety of materials with which to execute his artistic vision. The final work emerges as a classic example of the interplay of form and materials. For over 35 years, Bill Mack has created sculpture in relief and in the round for government, corporate and private collections. Mack's art hangs in galleries in four continents and he has had exhibits in Tokyo, England, France and Germany.

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