February 18, 2018

Artist with a comic twist

 

About Norman Gardner

NORMAN GARDNER IN 2006 HOLDING A FIGURE DURING THE FABRICATION OF HIS WORK “CELEBRATION.”

Norman Gardner was a New York-born artist with career spanning more than seventy years.  He received a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from City College of New York and went on to obtain a masters degree in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, being offered a position on the faculty, even before having finished his own studies there.  Gardner then taught in the art school for the next twelve years.

Gardner began sculpting by carving wood.  He evolved to produce his own unique style of sculptures, using combinations of bronze, silver, gold and stainless steel.  His first gallery showing occurred in the mid-sixties, at the Schoneman Gallery, then one of the premier galleries in New York City.  Gardner walked in with one of his silver sculptures and the gallery owner immediately put it on display in the window.  By the next day, the piece was sold.  Since then, Gardner has shown his pieces in upwards of fifty galleries, both in the U.S. and internationally.  He has produced a wide array of sculptural pieces, ranging from small, ornamental pieces, to larger-than-life outdoor monumental pieces and has sold hundreds of his works over the years.

Gardner’s sculptural work places an emphasis on planes, shapes, spaces and intersections, giving his work a dimensionality and universality.  He was inspired early on by Archipinko, Dubuffet and Picasso, and his work has a playful beauty and frequently displays a distinct sense of humor, that is a result of his uncanny sense of sensuality, combined with more frank absurdist reality.  While unmistakably an accomplished sculptor, Gardner was very much an artistic “Renaissance Man” who pursued many diverse artistic endeavors, including painting, drawing, print-making, photography, jewelry-making, knitting, landscaping, book-binding, wood-working, prose and poetry writing, creating mosaics and collages, as well as producing creations through many other media.

Gardner’s 2006 work of art, Celebration, stands 7 feet tall and is among the largest outdoor monumental sculptural pieces the artist has ever created—which is on public display in Palo Alto, California. This stainless steel piece was commissioned by the Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, in a project organized by a small team of the school’s parents.  You can see Celebration in front of the school at 450 San Antonio Road in Palo Alto and view its development from concept to installation, a process which follows the steps that Gardner took to create most all of sculptures on the Work-in-Process page.

 

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