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Alvin Sher

"I have created sculptures using imaginary architectural elements for twenty-five years. The sculptures have dealt with mythic and scientific issues, using architectural forms as a vehicle. The subjects of the works range from temples and labyrinths to observatories and sundials; they are all metaphors for human curiosity and searching - human beings have always chosen special places to celebrate and explore the unknown. The sculptures bridge time and ideas with ancient and new materials and forms. The works are executed using materials and techniques such as stone cutting and traditional bronze and iron casting as well as modern technologies like inert gas welding of aluminum and stainless steel, vaporization casting, plasma metal cutting, and computer imaging. Artists have always used modern tools and techniques, going back to the introduction of perspective for a more scientific understanding of anatomy and visual phenomena; the computer is another tool in this process. Computer simulations help develop forms and explore functional astronomical and environmental situations. I have been using the computer as an electronic sketchbook to visualize ideas and view them from a multiplicity of angles. I rarely go from a sketch (traditional or computer) directly to finished work, so the images produced to feed into the process in the way that the handling of various materials help shape the idea. The decisions of size and scale as well as all of the visual adjustments for aesthetic reasons are always determined in the making of my sculpture.

The capacity of the computer to measure and organize information has also been used to make paper pattern templates for cutting out metal parts for a sculpture. It is a valuable tool for making measurements for sculptures that have astronomical functions such as seasonal clocks and sundials.

The image of the hand is both my signature and a universal symbol with meanings through time ranging from greeting to our extension in space. My sculptures are influenced by both modern and ancient works."

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