2010 Studio Visit: Sculptor Terrence Karpowicz

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The beginning of my series on Contemporary Sculptors of Chicago.

March 8, 2010: TERRENCE KARPOWICZ.

Check out Terrence Karpowicz website.. click here..

Terrence Karpowicz is a Chicago-based sculptor whose large scale and monumental works can be seen scattered all over the city and throughout the country. Karpowicz specializes in the technique called “joinery” which involves different mediums – metals, stones and wood – integrated together to form beautiful shapes and forms of sculptures. By joining irregular, organic materials (such as wood limbs and granite shards) to machine-tooled geometric shapes of steel, he creates sculpture with actual or implied kinetic relationships among the elements and between the sculpture and its environment.   This technique of joinery requires deep knowledge of the nature of the materials, as different materials react differently to the elements of nature. For example stone, metal and wood would expand and contract differently under hot and cold conditions. So integrating them together requires intimate knowledge of the properties and a very special skill set! He is especially drawn to the interactions of wind, water, sunlight, and gravity on natural materials.

From his website.. The ways in which disparate materials interact with each other define the artist’s life and his relationship with the world. Oak and granite nesting in congruent harmony, stainless steel orbs spinning within walnut ellipses, granite shards twisting against armatures of steel – these elements are held together through his commitment to materials, history and craftsmanship.

Karpowicz has one of the highest numbers of commissions, exhibitions, publications, grants and awards in the city.

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The Athlete [2005] - by Terrence Karpowicz..

The Athlete [2005] – by Terrence Karpowicz..

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I visited Terry Karpowicz studio March 8, 2010. The visit will always be very special to me, as it was the first “Studio Visit” I have written about. Although I had been documenting sculptures, especially public art in Chicago through my blogs, I had never written on any sculptor. The only other artist I had met before him was Sharon Bladholm, but I had not written on her work. So this studio visit was very important!

Here is how my series “Studio Visits of Contemporary Sculptors of Chicago”.. click here..

I had posted images of “The Athele” by Terry Karpowicz, installed at the East Bank Club grounds on Kingsbury St, Chicago. Karpowicz’s intern Sachiyo Yoshida contacted me, asking if she could use one the images for a catalog she was making on his Athele series. This was the first time I had ever approached by a sculptor! I was thrilled!! “Of course yes”, was my response! But I wanted to meet with Karpowicz, so in my correspondence with Sachiyo, I asked if I could meet him? I remember I was very hesitant about asking, almost expecting a negative answer. But I got response as YES! But then, before meeting him, I needed to clarify some things, so I talked to Karpowicz on phone. Here is how it went, I am paraphrasing here, since I don’t remember the exact words, but it was close to this…

Me to Terrence Karpowicz: Let me make it clear, I am not a professional photographer, or writer. I am not associated with any press; magazine, book or anything. I’m an amateur, and like to document public art in Chicago through my blogs. Would you still be open to meet with me?

Terrence Karpowicz: Of course! I like your photographs and I like what you are doing.

Me: Thank You! It means so much to me.

So on March 8, 2010, I knocked at the doors of the  Karpowicz Studio.

Terrence Karpowicz  not only welcomed me, but showed his work-place, allowed me to take whatever photographs I wished, gave me a whole lot of information materials to read, and as if all that was not enough, took me on a sculpture tour of the city.  He not only showed me his work,  but was  equally enthusiastic  about the wonderful works of his peers, who he fondly referred to as the “sculptors community”. We saw the works of John Henry, Barry Hehemann, Mary Brogger, Alison Saar and William Carlson among others. Our trip ended with lunch at Sachiyo’s favourite restaurant in Chinatown, Lao Sze Chaun..

 

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2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

 

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Terrence Karpowicz was born in 1948 in Cleveland, Ohio and received a B.A. in fine arts from Albion College, Michigan in 1970. Karpowicz moved to New York City to pursue his career as an artist. He started as a painter. His inspiration to make sculptures comes from the internationally acclaimed abstract expressionist sculptor Mark di Suvero.  In 1972, he assisted with an installation of sculpture exhibition by Suvero, who inspired him to enter the world of materials and labor and pursue the craft of making sculptures.  In 1973 he enrolled at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in the graduate program in Sculpture, and passed with distinction.

In 1975 Karpowicz was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship to the United Kingdom, serving as Scholar to the Wind and Watermill Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, to study the technical and mechanical aspects of the country’s medieval wind and watermills.  After being awarded the Fulbright, and less than a year after starting his research in England, tragedy struck. Karpowicz was in a motorcycle accident and had to have his right leg amputated. He got fitted with prosthetic limb. “I was 27 when the accident happened. Once those things happened, I started to rediscover my life as an amputee.” He continued to make sculptures, at first on a smaller scale, but then he continued to enlarge the size of his sculptures. His own experience with prosthetic legs, how metal works with his body, inspired him to pursue the technique of “joinery”, which I talked about earlier, where he joins different materials like metals, stone and wood to produce beautiful work of art, which are enduring in nature.

Upon completing his fellowship Karpowicz moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1976 to establish a sculpture studio and continue his career. Since then, he has received  National Endowment for the Arts awards, and grants from the Illinois Arts Council, The Newhouse Award, and numerous public and private commissions. He has exhibited throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe and in the Soviet Union. Karpowicz has received several commissions for public sculpture from the State of Illinois and his work is held in collections of the City of Chicago, Oklahoma City, and the U.S. General Services Administration.

 

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2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

 

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Karpowicz was working on a fun sculpture “Picasso Just Fiddling Around” .

Below are some more images from the Karpowicz Studio: March, 2010.

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2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

 

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2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

 

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2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

2010 Studio Visit: Terrence Karpowicz

 

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After spending quite some time talking to Karpowicz, we went on a sculpture tour of the city.
But it was a gray dull day, so outdoor photos didn’t come out good.

However, I have photographed many of his works, which can be seen here.. click here..

The day ended with lunch in Chinatown at restaurant Lao Sze Chaun.

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Amelioration [1969] – by Terry Karpowicz

Amelioration [1969] – by Terry Karpowicz

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Earth’s Psyche – by Terrence Karpowic

Earth’s Psyche – by Terrence Karpowic

 

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Abstract - by Terry Karpowicz

Abstract – by Terry Karpowicz

 

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Thank You for your time Terry Karpowicz!!!

I will end with two of my favorite sculptures..

 

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Symbiotic Parralax [1997] - by Terrence Karpowicz / University of Illinois, Molecular Biology Bldg.

Symbiotic Parralax [1997] – by Terrence Karpowicz / University of Illinois, Molecular Biology Bldg.

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Concurrence [1999] – by By Terrence Karpowitz

Concurrence [1999] – by By Terrence Karpowitz

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RELATED LINKS:
Studio Visits: click here..
Know the Artists series.. click here..

 


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1 Comment to “2010 Studio Visit: Sculptor Terrence Karpowicz”

  1. This guy’s an animal!!!!

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