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Artists Ibram Lassaw
Ibram Lassaw Photo

Ibram Lassaw

American Sculptor

Movements and Styles: Abstract Expressionism, The New York School and Abstract Expressionism

Born: May 4, 1913 - Alexandria, Egypt

Died: December 30, 2003 - The Springs, East Hampton, New York

Ibram Lassaw Timeline

Quotes

"When working on a piece of sculpture I see only the immediate reality of the particular forms and colors that confront me . . . The moment of working to me is an engagement in life. The sculpture itself is REALITY, not an interpretation of reality."
Ibram Lassaw
"Direct sensual experience is more real than living in the midst of symbols, slogans, worn-out plots, cliches - more real than political - oratorical art."
Ibram Lassaw
"I never argue with the medium."
Ibram Lassaw
"It's what's there, not what is implied."
Ibram Lassaw
"Whenever something becomes a representation, I know I must carry it farther. I want my sculpture to be only its self, not something to be looked through in order to find the associative image."
Ibram Lassaw

"The sculpture itself is reality, not an interpretation of reality."

Ibram Lassaw Signature

Synopsis

Ibram Lassaw, one of America's first abstract sculptors, was best known for his open-space welded sculptures of bronze, silver, copper and steel. Drawing from Surrealism, Constructivism, and Cubism, Lassaw pioneered an innovative welding technique that allowed him to create dynamic, intricate, and expressive works in three dimensions. As a result, he was a key force in shaping New York School sculpture.

Key Ideas

Rather than communicating a specific idea or representation, Lassaw sought to present a structure that was meaningful purely in itself and did not intend for his works' titles to shape audience interpretation of his sculptures.
Drawing on an interest in the internal structures found in nature, cosmology, astronomy, and technological construction, Lassaw aimed to entice viewers to lose themselves within his sculptures' complex interiors. This creation and enclosure of internal space later became prevalent in Minimalist sculpture.
Through his commitment to an intuitive construction of space and unconsciously driven application of melted metals, Lassaw developed an aesthetic similar to the instinctual painting compositions of his Abstract Expressionist peers, such as Jackson Pollock, who relied on a kind of trance-like automatism to structure their compositions.

Biography

Ibram Lassaw Photo

Childhood

Ibram Lassaw was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1913 to Russian-Jewish parents. After briefly living in Marseille, Naples, Tunis, Malta, and Constantinople, his family settled in Brooklyn, New York, in 1921. Lassaw was very interested in art from a young age and worked in clay from the age of four. He also created animals and figures using pieces of tar from the street. The history of art fascinated him, and at age 12, he started amassing an extensive collection of clippings and art reproductions, eventually filling 33 scrapbooks.

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Ibram Lassaw Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Ibram Lassaw
Interactive chart with Ibram Lassaw's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Alberto GiacomettiAlberto Giacometti
Alexander CalderAlexander Calder
Buckminster FullerBuckminster Fuller
Julio GonzalezJulio Gonzalez
László Moholy-NagyLászló Moholy-Nagy

Personal Contacts

Willem de KooningWillem de Kooning
Jackson PollockJackson Pollock

Movements

ConstructivismConstructivism
SurrealismSurrealism
CubismCubism
Neo-PlasticismNeo-Plasticism
Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism

Influences on Artist
Ibram Lassaw
Ibram Lassaw
Years Worked: 1927 - 2003
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Herbert FerberHerbert Ferber
Theodore RoszakTheodore Roszak
David SmithDavid Smith

Personal Contacts

Harold RosenbergHarold Rosenberg

Movements

Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism

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Content compiled and written by Rachel Gershman

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Rachel Gershman
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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