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 James Metcalf  (1925 - )

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Lived/Active: Ohio / France/Mexico      Known for: modernist sculpture-found objects, woodblocks

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Abstract bust, circa 1950's, bronze, 21" high
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Leonard Davenport Fine Arts / LSDArt:
American sculptor James Metcalf was born in New York City.  He studied at the Dayton Art Institute, Pennsylvania Academy of Find Art and in London.  He studied ancient Mediterranean metallurgy in Deya, Majorca, where he provided woodblocks for Robert Graves' poem, Adam's Rib.

From l956-l967, he worked in Paris in a studio opposite that of Constantin Brancusi.  After a major retrospective at Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Metcalf investigated the surviving copper technique of Santa Clara del Cobre in the mountains of Michoacan, and taught the smiths how to make vases with a special thick edge called El Borde Greuso.  In 1973, Metcalf, with the Mexican sculptor Ana Pellicer, founded The Adolfo Best Maugard School of Arts and Crafts in Santa Clara del Cobre.

His work often employs innovative techniques and makes use of found objects incorporated into his sculptural vision. Generally, he is grouped both with the Surrealists and the Abstract Expressionists.

He has exhibited in Paris, London, New York and Mexico City in major galleries, Other exhibits included ones at Goldsmith's Hall, London, 1952; Third Biennial Spanish-American Art, Barcelona, 1955; Expos International Sculpture, Paris, France, 1961; "Actualité Sculpture," Paris, 1963; Documenta III, Kassel, Germany, 1964; Whitney Museum of American Art.

His awards include a Clark Foundation grant and Copley Foundation. award and grant.  Most recently, he and Ana Pellicer were the subjects of a cataloged Philadelphia and New York Exhibit.

Work by James Metcalf is in the permanent collection of a number of museums including the Hirshhorn Musem, University of Arizona Museum; Museum of 20 Jahrhunderts; New York Hilton Hotel; and Yale, Neuberger Museum of Art.  The war memorial in Middletown was an early commission.

Metcalf and his work are covered and/or illustrated in: Seuphor’s, The Sculpture of this Century, Dictionary of Modern Sculpture; Read’s, A Concise History of Modern Sculpture; Sam Hunter, James Metcalf (monograph), Karpel’s Arts in America.- Vol 1; Ekdahi’s American Sculpture; Hunter’s American Art Since 1960, and in Anthologie des Formes Inventees and Dictionaire de la Sculptre Moderne as the only American.  He also appears in Who’s Who 1973; and Who Was Who in American Art and other art references.


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