The Sculpture of Mel and Nancy Leiserowitz

MEL LEISEROWITZ 677 HARPER ROAD MASON MI 48854 (517) 676-5108 email leisero1@msu.edu



Education

1948 BA University of Iowa 1948

1964 MA University otf Iowa 1964

EXHIBITIONS AND SHOWS:

2002 Hankins Gallery, E. Lansing, MI one man show

1999 Ted and Gloria Bouterese large Column

1995 Prints Ancient and :Modern E. Lansing MI 2-Person Show

1995 Kresge Art Center Michigan State University 3-person Show

1993 Southfield Invitational

1992 Two person show at Fremont Art Center

1991 Prints Ancient and Modern E. Lansing MI 3-Person Show

1988 Group Show Muskegon Jr. College

1987 Outdoor Sculpture Invitational Southfield, MI

1987 Vintage Artists of Michigan Best of Show

Traveled to Washington DC and large Cities in MI for 2 years

1984 Large Wall Relief Commission First Presbyterian Church Lansing

1983 City of Southfield, MI Large Sculpture dedicated

1982 City of Southfield, MI Finalist for Commission

1982 Designed Opera set for "Fidelio"

1981 Oakland Univ. Large Sculpture Commission at Meadowbrook

1981 Alma College One Person Show

1980 Finalist for Oakland Univ and Group Show

1980 Olivet College Group Show & Talk

1979 Commissioned 35' Large Sculpture at Wharton Perf. Arts Center by Clifton & Delores Wharton

1979 Kresge Art Center MSU One Person Show

1978 Large Outdoor Comnmission by Dr Werner E. Lansing

1978 Detroit Competition show & Purchase

1977 Muskegon Museum One-Person Show

1972 Calvin College One Person Show & Purchase

1971 Albion College One Person Show

1970 OK Harris Gallery New York One Person Show

1969 Lansing Fine Arts Group Show

1969 Western Mich Univ Group Show

1968 Albion One Person Show

1966 E. Lansing Outdoor Sculpture Show

1966 Kalamazoo Museum Show

1965-67 Detroit Museum All Mich Annuals

1964 to Present Kresge Museum Group Shows

Articles, Books and Reviews

1997 Book by Dennis Nawicki “Detroit Art”

1991 Lansing Magazine "Mid Michigan's Finest"

1991 Lansing Courier Feature Article

1989 Book By Theodore Wolff "The Many Masks of Modern Art"

Monograph and Photo of Wharton Center Sculpture

1987 New Art Examiner Review

1983 Detroit Today Article

1983 Art Focus Feature Article

1982 Feature Article in Christian Science Monitor on Wharton Center

Sculpture By Theodore Wolff, Art Critic

1982 Lecture on the work of Mel Leiserowitz by Dr. Diane Kirkpatrick Art Historian U of Michigan

1982-90 Various Articles in Lansing State Journal

1980 Book by Fay Hendry "Outdoor Sculpture"

1981-87 Detroit News Articles and Reviews

1981-87 Detroit Free Press Articles and Reviews

1970 New Yorker Magazine Column on my work

1970 Art News Review

1970 New York Times Review

Art Dept. Michigan State University 1964 to 1991

One man and group shows througout Michigan, New York and Los Angeles, Washington DC

Many private collection

I have worked with found objects for many years although it probably wasn’t apparent because I used industrial materials, and the process seemed to be, and indeed often was the thing that stood out. However I have just never made much of a distinction between found natural objects and found geometric ones. I feel free to combine them on my own terms. My world is full of lines…they all seem natural to me. My early interests were in engineering and architecture and music

One of the rewards I get from this way of thinking is that it continually requires me to do things I have never done before and to examine subjects and forms that I have not used before. Many years ago I gave myself a summer project of photographing shadows of objects rather than the objects themselves, and got one of the treats of my life. One of the first photos was of tractor tire treads dried in the mud. In this kind of research you have to give yourself over to the search. You don’t know in the beginning what you are looking for. As you pick and chose and try and toss, you learn more about the idea, and also about yourself, what you choose and what you do with it, and some hints of why. Towards the end of the summer, the weeds were coming on and I started photographing their shadows, and then ended by taking some of the weeds themselves, close up. Although I can’t tell you why, I found myself looking at forms in ways I had never done before. I learned how important it was not to be in a rush to eliminate, but that required a different way of editing, because one has to edit at some point.

In the last 15 years this has led me more and more to the simple, naturally found objects that are everywhere around us. I try to look at it in a way that can reveal qualities that I never recognized before, wasn’t aware of before. I came across weeds while looking for something else. They are everywhere, and like in the city they are despised, battled, burned, chopped, and poisoned. Their shadows opened me up to a very different subject matter. What I am finding is the incredible richness of their forms, along with broken twigs, galls, tools and many strange opjects, and in some cases I made my own found objects or learned to combine them. I used the stem rather than the flower, even the form of the flower rather than their beautiful colors, the clumps of flooded and dried grass clippings, rather than the beautiful lawn. Perhaps the most important thing that I have learned is to see and think in terms of variation. I try to think of a form or material at different times of its life, colors, textures that will develop over time, size, a fragment of a branch or the whole branch and on and on. What happens to the plant when the color is gone, the flower dried. Casting in the materials I use, has allowed me all kinds of freedoms like this, but they have required developing new techniques in every phase, and that continues to this day.

This site contains some of my earlier works, but only a few of the photos of the early castings. Many of my works are editioned, and most are intended for interior use only. Others are sealed against the elements and can be used indoors and out. Some the pieces shown are unique and some editions may be sold out.

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Copyright © 2002 Mel & Nancy Leiserowitz. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, retransmission, linking or appropriation of these photos, related text, titles, web design or format for commercial gain or unauthorized use is strictly prohibited without prior approval.