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 David Von Schlegell  (1920 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/Missouri      Known for: sculpture-welded steel, abstract painting

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Ad Code: 3
David Von Schlegell
from Auction House Records.
Untitled Geometric Composition
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Obituary. New York Times, October 6, 1992

David von Schlegell, Abstract Artist, Is Dead at 72

By Roberta Smith

David von Schlegell, an abstract sculptor and painter who was also a professor emeritus at the Yale University School of Art, died yesterday at St. Raphael's Hospital in New Haven.  He was 72 years old and lived in Guilford, Conn.

He had been ill for some time with prostate cancer and died of a stroke, said his wife, Susan Howe.

Mr. von Schlegell was born in St. Louis on May 25, 1920.  His father was William von Schlegell, an American Impressionist painter.  David von Schlegell studied painting at the Art Students League in New York, where his father taught.

He turned to sculpture in the early 1960's after building his house in Ogunquit, Me.  He evolved a vocabulary of streamlined abstract forms and planes, often held in place by rigging wire, that reflected his knowledge of Constructivism and as well as his lifelong interest in yacht and airplane design.  He had his first one-man show of sculpture in New York City at the Royal Marks Gallery in 1965, and in 1966 his work was included in "Primary Structures" at the Jewish Museum, an exhibition that helped establish Minimalism.  In the 1970's and early 80's, he exhibited several times at the Pace Gallery in Manhattan, and in 1991 he exhibited paintings for the first time in many years at the Althea Viafora Gallery in SoHo.

Throughout his career, Mr. von Schlegell received many public commissions and several grants and awards, including the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 1978.  His work is represented in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I.

In 1971 Mr. von Schlegell was appointed director of graduate studies in sculpture at the Yale University, where his students over the years included sculptors and installation artists like Meg Webster, Ann Hamilton, Roni Horn, Jessica Stockholder, Don Gummer, Judy Pfaff, Rona Pondick, John Newman and Matthew Barney.  He retired from Yale in 1990.

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