George Sugarman


George Sugarman Biography

American, 1912-1999

George Sugarman, was a prolific, controversial, and forward-thinking American artist. His sculptures, drawings, and paintings defy a definitive style. As an innovator in pedestal-free sculpture and vividly painted metal sculptures, Sugarman was continually expanding on the metamorphoses of his prodigious creativity.

Always interested in the well-being of dedicated, young, and developing artists, Sugarman provided for them in his will. Thus, the establishment of The George Sugarman Foundation, Inc.

All art is metaphor, if one wants it that way, but then so is any object. To escape from metaphor, artists have often chosen other ways: sheer physical stimulation or the insistence on a system of formal relationships that has meaning in and for itself. Metaphor, stimulation, formal relationships, three ways to meaning. Is it necessary to choose?
George Sugarman, 1974
"The elaborate shapes, both delicate and dense, recall the Baroque art that impressed George Sugarman during his first travels in Europe. Later...Sugarman noted, 'All throughout the '60s and '70s I had no label. I wasn't Pop. I wasn't Mininmal. And 'Maximal' was a word that wasn't used. Yet I was a Maximalist. I wanted to put everything in my work, even the kitchen sink.'"
- Storm King Art Center Sculpture Guide, 2015, p. 193

1928–1934 New York City College
1951–1952 Atelier Zadkine, Paris

Austin Museum of Art
Blanton Museum of Art
University of Texas
Austin Carnegie Museum of Art
Pittsburgh Empire State Plaza Art Collection
Albany Fogg Museum
Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey
Joslyn Art Museum
Omaha Kunsthaus Zürich
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
McNay Art Museum
San Antonio Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York Museum of Fine Arts
Springfield, Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art
New York Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California
Purdue University North Central, Westville, Indiana
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, Hamilton, Ohio
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
University of Florida, Gainesville
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Spencer Museum of Art
University of Kansas
Lawrence Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York
Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
Nashville Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

1961 Grant Recipient, Longview Foundation Prize Recipient, Pittsburgh International, Carnegie Institute
1962 Grant Recipient, Longview Foundation
1963 Grant Recipient, Longview Foundation
1965 Grant Recipient, Ford Foundation
1966 Award Recipient, National Foundation of the Arts
1985 Arts and Letters Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters