American sculptor, painter and lithographer. Born in Poznan, Poland. Came to the USA with his parents in 1909, settling in Chicago. Studied 1922-6 (evening classes until 1925) and 1927-9 at the Chicago Art Institute School; 1925-6 at the National Academy of Design, New York, and Columbia University (philosophy). First one-man exhibition at the Allerton Galleries, Chicago, 1928. Visited Europe on a travelling fellowship 1929-31; awarded a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship 1931. Worked first as a painter and lithographer; painted in a figurative style but assimilating elements of Surrealism and Cubism. Settled in New York in 1931. Began to make abstract geometric constructions c.1936 and taught 1938-40 at the Design Laboratory, New York, founded by Moholy-Nagy. Marked change of style after 1945: free Baroque forms in welded and brazed metal, often images inspired by philosophical or literary themes. Executed various commissions, including the spire and bell tower for Saarinen's chapel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the eagle for the US Embassy in London. Taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, 1940-56. Lives in New York.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.653