Witkin Sculpture Park

About Isaac Witkin

From his student days at St. Martin’s School of Art in England to working as an assistant to Henry Moore, Isaac Witkin has been recognized as an important artist, sculptor and teacher.

Throughout his career, it is quite clear that Witkin has never been completely satisfied with one way of creating sculpture – whether it was though carving, forming, twisting or casting. He has continued to expand his visual language through looking, searching, experimenting and seeking independent vision.

After many years of creating dynamically welded steel constructions that seemed to cut, divide and float through space, he abandoned this method returning to the more traditional bronze, “… a material that other materials such as plaster or wax were cast in.” He felt that he wanted to use bronze in a more spontaneous way, “… as a material in and of itself … not unlike Jackson Pollack’s action or gesture painting, where language is generated by the behavioral flow of the medium.”

This exhibition entitled, “Out of the Crucible: Images Born of Fire and Water,” once again demonstrates Witkin’s continued development, growth and adventurousness in pushing a sculptural material and transforming it into a new form. As Witkin has stated, “I tried to simulate nature’s way of form-making … I then proceed to develop it as a musician would by improvising on theme and variation.”

It is hoped that this exhibition will lead viewers to discover Witkin’s originality and complexity of expression and reinforce his continued desire to seek “independent vision”.

Artist's Biography

Education
1961 – 1963 Assistant to Henry Moore
1957 – 1960 Studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, England

Teaching
2001 – 2002 Sculpture Professor, Burlington County Community College, Burlington, NJ
1990 – 1992 Sculpture Professor, Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, PA
1981 Visiting Professor, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
1975 – 1978 Professor, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
1965 – 1979 Artist in Residence, Bennington College, Bennington, VT
1963 – 1965 Professor of Sculpture, St. Martin’s School of Art, London, England

Memberships
1996 – present National Academy, New York, NY
1998 – 2002 Royal Society of British Sculptors
1990 – 2002 International Sculpture Center (ISC)
1987 – 1991 Bennington College Art Collection Committee
1990 Yale University Art Advisory Committee

Awards
2002 State of New Jersey Art Achievement Award, Burlington County Community College, Burlington, NJ
1994 Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant
1985 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Grant
1981 Guggenheim Fellowship
1965 First Prize, Paris Biennale

Selected One-Person Exhibitions
2001 “Isaac Witkin, Major Works Since 1963”, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1998 Solo Exhibition, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1996 “Isaac Witkin: The Past Decade”, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
1993 Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1992 Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea
1991 Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1990 Patricia Hamilton, Hamilton, NJ
1988 Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York, NY
1985 Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York, NY
1981 Hamilton Gallery of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
1979 Hamilton Gallery of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
1978 Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
1976 Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
1975 Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
1973 Robert Elkon Gallery, New York, NY
1971 Retrospective, University of Vermont at Burlington, VT
1971 Robert Elkon Gallery, New York, NY
1968 Waddington Gallery, London, England
1966 Waddington Gallery, London, England

Selected Group Exhibitions
2004 “Improvisation – The Art of Lynda Benglis and Isaac Witkin”, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2002 Grounds for Sculpture, Tenth Anniversary, Hamilton, NJ
2001 – 2002 “Selections: Works from the International Sculpture Center Board”, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
2001 Pier Walk, Chicago, IL
2000 “Sculpture at the White House: The View From Denver”, Jacqueline Bouvier Sculpture Garden, The White House, Washington, DC
1998 Members Exhibition, National Academy, New York, NY
1997 “Facets of Modern Sculpture: Witkin, Di Suvero, Tucker, Murray and Others”, Two Sculptors Gallery, New York, NY
1993 Chelsea Harbor Invitational Sculpture Exhibition, London, England
1989 “The Life Force”, Robeson Center Art Gallery, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
1984 “Six in Bronze”, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
1984 “200 Years of American Bronze Sculpture”, Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
1984 “Survey of Bronze Sculpture” (traveling exhibition), Sonoma State University, Sonoma, CA
1984 “Bronze at Washington Square”, Washington Square Plaza, Washington, DC
1982 Invitational Exhibition, the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
1982 American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
1982 “Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood”, Stockbridge, MA
1980 “11th International Sculpture Symposium”, Columbia Plaza Sculpture Exhibit, Washington, DC
1979 “Homage to David Smith”, Prospect Mountain, Lake George, NY
1977 American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
1976 “The Golden Door”, The Hirschorn Museum, Washington, DC
1975 “Condition of Sculpture”, Hayward Gallery, London, England
1974 “Monumenta”, Newport, RI
1972 “Indoor Sculpture Outdoors”, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY
1970 “British Sculpture of the 60’s”, British Arts Council at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
1967 “Nine English Sculptors”, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland and Kunstalle Museum, Berne, Switzerland
1966 Open Air Sculpture, Sonsbeek, Holland
1965 “Primary Structures”, Jewish Museum, New York, NY
1959 “The New Generation”, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England

Public Collections
Alcoa Company, Pittsburgh, PA
Art Council of Great Britain, London, England
Atlantic Foundation, Princeton, NJ and Florida
Caloust Gulbenkian Foundation, London, England
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
Federal Reserve Bank, Washington, DC
Fine Arts Museum, University of Sydney, Australia
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
I.N.A. Museum, Philadelphia, PA
James A. Michener Fine Arts Center, Doylestown, PA
Laumeir Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA
National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
New Jersey Council on the Arts, Ewing, NJ
Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY
Tate Gallery, London, England
The Israel Museum, Billy Rose Garden, Jerusalem, Israel
University of Illinois at Normal, IL
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Wichita Museum, Wichita, KS

Selected Public Commissions
The Atlantic Foundation
City of Springfield, MA
Government Services Administration, Social Security Building, Baltimore, MD
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
Insurance of North America Building, Wilmington, DE
ALCOA Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
Department of Transportation, Trenton, NJ
La Guardia Community College, Long Island City, NY
Public Art Trust, Florida

Published Writing about Isaac Witkin
Isaac Witkin
Karen Wilkin, Author
Published by Hudson Hills Press, 1998

Documentary Film
“Sculpture by Isaac Witkin” (PBS),
Cinetude Productions, Columbus Film Festival Gold
Awards and Freedoms Foundation Award