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In 1970, having earned an MFA from Pratt Institute, and having been awarded several prestigious fellowships for his student work, Daniel Sinclair went to Pietrasanta, Italy to discover if there was anything further that he could learn about stone carving in the commercial studios there.
Pietrasanta is a town renowned for its marble quarries and fine stone carving since Roman times. From studio to studio, portfolio in hand and speaking a rudimentary Italian, Daniel was met by unfailing patience from the Italian craftsmen, but soon found that finding a position there was not to be so easy.
As the weeks went by, he resolved to focus his efforts on what he believed was the premier shop in the town, the studio of Pasquino Pasquini. Eventually, by dint of sheer persistence, he found a position there, that of floor sweeper. While performing this and other duties for which the management deemed him qualified, and assisting the skilled artisans, it began to dawn on him that, in spite of his academic achievements, "I knew nothing about stone, about tools, about craftsmanship. I knew nothing about art." Thus began an apprenticeship which was to last for five years.
BFA, University of Southern California, cum laude
Otis Art Institute
MFA, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Studio of Pasquini, Pietrasanta, Italy 1970-75
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
Fine Arts Museum of Long Island,, Stony Brook, New York
Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Museum at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, NewYork University, NY
Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY
Sarah Lawrence College Art Gallery, New Rochelle, NY
Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
The City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
NYNEX, White Plains, NY
Avery International Corporation, Los Angeles, CA
The Brooklyn Union Gas Co.
Insilco Coporation, Meriden, CT
Wilshire House Condominiums, Los Angeles, CA
1968 Friends of Art at University of Southern California, Fellowship
1971 Tiffany Fellowship
1972 Augustus St. Guadens Memorial Fellowship
1976 Elizabeth T. Greenshields Fellowship
1978 Augustus St. Gaudens Memorial Fellowship
1989 Arthur Ross Award from Classical America, NewYork
1979 Alexander F. Milliken, Inc., New York?
1980 Alexander F. Milliken, Inc., New York?
1986 Shreiber/Cutler, Inc., New York
?1988 Shreiber/Cutler, Inc., New York?
1989 Shreiber/Cutler, Inc., New York
1991 James Goodman Gallery, Inc., New York
1976 International Exhibition of Sculptors, Pietrasanta Italy
1977 International Exhibition of Sculptors, Pietrasanta Italy
1979 Alexander F. Milliken, Inc., New York
1980 Alexander F. Milliken, Inc., New York
1984 "New York Art Experience Show", 909 Third Avenue, New York
1985 Studio K, Long Island City, New York
1987 "Crime and Punishment", Schreiber/Cutler, Inc., New York
Yoskowitz, Robert, Review of exhibition at Alwxander F.Milliken, ARTS, May 1980?
Architectural Digest, March 1986, "Ventures in Symmetry - Classical Balence in a Manhattan Duplex", Jane Howard reproduction page100.?
Zelanski, P., Space: Dynamics of Three Dimensional Design, Holt, Rinehart & Wilson, NewYork, 1986.
Included here are images of sculptures made quite early in my career and some as recently as last week. The smallest of these sculptures I consider to be quite unique, as diminutive figural works in marble are no longer being made for a number of reasons that I will try to outline.?
The history of stone carving dates back to mans' earliest efforts to decorate our environment and demonstrate our political will, as seen in the monuments throughout the ancient world. In the early 20th Cent. when this aesthetic was, for the most part, replaced by sculptures made from materials more easily manipulated and relevant to the contemporary world. If it could be said that the heroic philosophy that dominated the creation western sculpture for 2000 years, by late 20 Cent. was now an anachronism, then making figurative sculptures in the present, and in marble was even more so. And to amplify that point , making very small figurative sculptures with the inherent difficulties would be heroic in the extreme and still anachronistic. Perhaps it is something in human nature that in order for something to to have artistic value it should also be difficult to do, like playing the violin or ice skating. Difficulty in itself however, should not be confused with artistic merit, someone who whittles a chunk of wood into 50 foot chain is still no Michaelangelo.
When I was a young boy, first exposed to the art of the past, I was particularly impressed by the beauty and serene sense of order expressed by the statues from the ancient world. Little did I realize then the skills to be mastered required to make such things. I had no understanding that drawing, modeling, mold making, stone cutting and carving, not to mention blacksmithing, were separate crafts that each posed enormous challenges and were exact trades in themselves. However, inspired by my goal I took the challenge and dedicated many years in pursuit of mastery of these things. Ultimately, the question became, did I have anything to express? More importantly, could it be expressed in stone.
I believe so, And the examples I've submitted are my attempt to do so. I don't believe however, that it is in the best interests of each piece not to try to explain the "inner meaning" of the work, any work of art should be able to stand on its own, it is obvious that I believe a profound understanding of the past is important and mastery of craft is still bedrock to all art. Although, in no way should it be an end in itself. The challenge is still to reflect something about the human condition and how we perceive the world around us, in all its complexity and reveal something that can only be understood by creating what we call works of art.