Alvin Sher has created sculptures using imaginary architectural elements for twenty-five years. The sculptures have dealt with mythic and scientific issues, using architectural forms as a vehicle -as human beings have always chosen special places to celebrate and explore the unknown. The subjects of the works range from temples and labyrinths to observatories and sun dials; they are all metaphors for human curiosity and searching. The sculptures bridge time and ideas with ancient and new materials and forms. The image of the hand is both a signature and universal symbol with meanings through time ranging from greeting to our extension in space. The sculptures are influenced by both modern and ancient works.
The works are executed using materials and techniques such as stone cutting and traditional bronze casting as well as modern technologies like inert gas welding of aluminum and stainless steel, vaporization casting, plasma metal cutting and computer imaging. Artists have always used modern tools and techniques such as photography and lasers, going back to the introduction of perspective for a more scientific understanding of anatomy and visual phenomena; the computer is another tool in this process.
Computer simulations help develop forms and explore functional astronomical and environmental situations. Sher has been using the computer as an electronic sketch book by using CAD programs to visualize ideas and view them from a multiplicity of angles. He rarely goes from a sketch (traditional or computer) directly to a finished work, so the images produced feed into the process in the way that the handling of various materials help shape the idea. The decisions of size and scale as well as all of the visual adjustments for aesthetic reasons are always determined in the making of the sculpture.
The capacity of the computer to measure and organize information is also used to make paper pattern templates for cutting out metal parts for a sculpture. It is a valuable tool for making measurements for sculptures that have astronomical functions such as seasonal clocks and sun dials. "Astrolabe Rotunda" functions as a sun dial, with the metal 'string' through the hand held globe functioning as a gnomon casting a shadow on the marked circle to tell time.
- Philadelphia College of Art, BFA Sculpture
- Atelier Mercedes Matter, NYC
- Indiana University, MFA Sculpture
- Cours Superior Modelage et Dessin, Paris
- National Endowment for the Arts, Invitational Residency
- Fullbright Grant
- Artist in Residence, Haystack School of Art
I have had 25 solo shows and works included in more than 150 exhibitions during the past 30 years. My work has been commissioned in Europe and the U.S. and reviewed in international journals and publications. I have been the recipient of numerous exhibition prizes and commissions. A partial exhibition list: Sculpture Center, NYC; Green Mountain Gallery, NYC; New York Studio School; Cite International des Arts, Paris; Colgate University, Hamilton, NY;University of Rhode Island; University of London; Everson Museum, Syracuse NY; Rochester Memorial Museum; Ben Uri Gallery, London; Diane Brown Gallery, Washington DC; University of Texas, Austin; Corcoran Gallery of Modern Art, Washington DC; A.M. Sachs Gallery, NYC; Pratt Institute Manhattan Gallery; Queens Museum, NYC; Gallery M-13, NYC; Memphis State University Museum; Lever House, NYC; Federal Reserve, Phila.; Cast Iron Gallery, NYC; Shidoni Gallery, Santa Fe NM; Bi-Coastal Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Gettysburg College; University of the Arts, Phila; Shelter Group, London; Lyman Allyn Museum, New London CT; Kyoto Gallery, Kyoto, Japan; FFS Gallery,NYC, Stanford Museum, Stanford CT, Gallery Graphe, Paris, Silicon Gallery, Phila. PA; New Haven Arts Council, New Haven CT.
Dulwich Cathedral, London; Roger Williams Park, Providence RI; Central Park, NYC.
Houston/Bowery Exhibition Space, NYC; Wards Island, NYC; Connecticut College; Holycroft Foundation, Ivoryton CT; College of Santa Fe, NM; Southern Vermont Arts Center; National Metals Museum, Memphis, TN; Special Olympics, New Haven, CT; Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, CT; Sculpture International 2000.
"Art Forum" NYC; "Art in America" NYC; "New Yorks Times"; "American Artist" NYC.
"Hartford Courant"; " New London Day ", RTV Paris Television; Ethiopia TV, Adis Ababa, "Sculptors and Computers" ISC Wash. DC ; "Arts" NYC; "Albuquerqe Journal", Albuquerqe NM; "Commercial Appeal", Memphis TN; "Providence Journal" Providence RI.