Thank You Degas, from Athlete Series

Artist: Terry Karpowicz

Medium: Steel, polymer

Year: 2020

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Thank You Degas, from Athlete Series

While an art student in the 1970’s, Terrence Karpowicz was influenced by the theories and practices of Minimalism and Conceptualism which dominated contemporary art at the time.

In 1975, he was awarded a scholarship to the United Kingdom to serve as apprentice to the sole millwright for the government’s Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. There, he learned the ancient techniques and craftsmanship of watermill and windmill construction and preservation. These experiences influenced Karpowicz’s aesthetic, rooted in craftsmanship while being informed by the sublime nature of minimal forms and the layering of history and ideas.

Terrence Karpowicz continues to practice the craft of wood-working and joinery and is especially drawn to the interactions of wind, water, sunlight, and gravity on natural materials. 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.

Terrence Karpowicz was born in 1948 in Cleveland, Ohio, and received a B.A. in fine arts from Albion College, Michigan in 1970 before moving to New York City to pursue his career as an artist. Through various jobs, including bartending at Max’s Kansas City and studio manager of Larry Poons, Karpowicz maintained a studio and continued to paint. In 1972, he assisted with an installation of sculpture exhibition by Mark di Suvero which inspired him to sculpture; the world of materials and labor.

In 1973 he enrolled at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in the graduate program in Sculpture. After a distinguished graduate study, 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.

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 two National Endowment for the Arts awards, four grants from the Illinois Arts Council, The Newhouse Award, and numerous public and private commissions.

KAC’s biennial invitational returns this summer with new guest curators, interactive art experiences, and locations all over town. To learn more and find a complete listing of related programs, click here.

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