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 Seymour (Sy) Gresser  (1926 - )

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Lived/Active: Maryland/District Of Columbia      Known for: stone and wood sculpture, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Seymour Gresser “Sy” was born 9 May 1926, in Baltimore, Md., the son of Simon Solomon and Sara (Williams) Gresser. Educated at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Washington, D.C. (1949-1950), George Washington University (1950-1953), and University of Maryland (B.S., 1949, M.A., 1972).

Gresser served in the U.S. Merchant Marines as a radio operator (1944-1946).  He has received an Organization of American States fellowship for 1960-1961.  Gresser has been a sculptor and writer and employed in various positions, including doing research on American Indians, technical writing and editing, and teaching art.

He has been an Instructor in sculpture, Sculptor's Studio (evenings, 1958-63), and Paint Branch Unitarian Church, sculptor-in-residence at Yale University (1969).

His work has been exhibited in one-man shows and group exhibitions in U.S., Europe, and Mexico since 1951, including Smithsonian Exhibition, 1952; Washington Irving Gallery, New York, N.Y., 1956, San Angel Exhibition, Mexico, 1960, Capricorn Gallery, New York, N.Y., 1967, Harvard University, 1971, Fordham University, Berkeley Center at Yale University, and Athena Gallery, New Haven, CT.


Biography from University of Maryland Art Gallery:
Seymour (Sy) Gresser is a sculptor working in both stone and wood, residing in Silver Spring, MD.  He had been groomed since childhood for a career in business or medicine, and earned advanced degrees at the University of Maryland.  Through a gift of stone carving tools from a theatre director, Bob Stevens, Sy began carving stone and wood sculptures.  He also attended the Institute for Contemporary Art in Washington DC from 1948-49, where he met his mentor, sculptor Bill Taylor.

Over the years, Gresser has done residencies including the Sculpture Studio in Washington, DC; Yale University; Wesley Theological Seminary; and Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.

His works have been exhibited in both solo and group shows in Washington DC, Maryland, Alabama, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, and South Dakota.  Internationally, his works have appeared in Mexico, and Belgium, as well as in American embassies in Switzerland, France, Nigeria, Madagascar, the Fiji Islands, Abu Dhabi and others.

Gresser believes that art celebrates human existence on a spiritual level and transcends the idea of religion.  Since his greatest inspiration has come from the strong women in his life, his sculptures frequently celebrate life through the feminine form. He sees this form as the embodiment of all life, not merely because of fertility or sexuality, but because it is expressive of all emotion and healing.

Gresser’s sculptures have a universality of line and form, often mixed with what he calls “impossible juxtapositions.” Of his own work, he says, “When I look at a stone and can capture some human warmth and sense of spiritual meaning, I feel then that I have been successful. That is all I ask.”


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