Exposition Art Blog: Karl Stirner - Abstract Metal Sculptures

Karl Stirner - Abstract Metal Sculptures

Karl Stirner (November 14, 1923 – February 18, 2016) American sculptor known internationally for his metalwork
"Karl Stirner brings new life to metal that has been discarded, whether from Bethlehem Steel, shipwrecks, or from his favorite scrapyard. He fuses natural materials with manmade, and juxtaposes smooth surfaces with rough and pitted ones to form organic shapes. Stirner creates a drama of contradiction, playing thick against thin, flexible against inflexible.
The German-born Stirner, who grew up in Philadelphia, was fascinated by frogs, birds, insects, crystals and shells. Watching his father work as a fine jeweler got him interested in metal, and he started his art career at age 23. An industrial designer who served in World War II, Stirner held teaching positions at Tyler School of Art at Temple University and at Moore and Swarthmore colleges, although he himself is self-taught. He operated a metal arts studio, designing and making contemporary metal furniture and ecclesiastical items, such as lighting fixtures, altar railings, architectural sculpture, ornamental panels, screens, and lamps."(karlstirner.com)
Much of Karl Stirner's work is considered to embody an abstract style. Stirner used his metalwork and steel sculptures to translate and express many of his inner feelings and thoughts. Stirner's sculptures typically fall into two subcategories of the abstract: expressionism and constructivist. His expressionist sculptures have been described as "anxiety-ridden" while his constructivist sculptures have been described as "depressive". This is because they appear to elicit depressive emotions and feelings of internal conflict. The "dream-like" aspect of his work is supposedly inspired by Stirner's unconscious state. 

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