WMU Home Frostic School of Art College of Fine Arts


Arny Nadler

St. Louis, Mo.

As the son of an immigrant tool and die maker, I was trained at a very young age to look carefully at how things work, to steal with my eyes (as my father put it) while poring over the shops and drafting tables of his practice. The smell of machine grease and molten plastic that defined my Saturday mornings and summer vacations at that factory took an incredible hold, and I am certain that the work I do today is due in no small part to those many hours of looking.

At the heart of my activity as a sculptor is a fascination with form. I am awed when I watch a several ton cantilever bridge slowly rise, pause, then lower gently back down over the Des Plaines River in my hometown of Chicago. I find the exoskeletons of crustaceans remarkably alluring. Feats of engineering, both utilitarian and evolutionary, have always appealed to me. This plurality gives me momentum.

If the certain satisfaction of crafting a well-made object were enough, I would undoubtedly fair better making tables and chairs. It is the specificity of construction in the absence of a specific function that intrigues me. Stealing, as my Romanian-Israeli father taught me to do, the skills of the welder, I investigate the utilitarian forms stripped of their original practicality.

← Back to tour