- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 02 March 2016
- Written by PRESS RELEASE
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the opening of a new gallery exhibit, a retrospective of one of the most respected sculptors of the 20th century, Michael Malpass (1946 – 1991), taking place in the Pollak Gallery from March 8 through June 30. The opening reception will be held on Friday, April 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. and will include a premiere screening of a new documentary Michael Malpass - A Great Circle created by Monmouth University Communication students under the direction of Erin Fleming, director of Production Services.
The exhibit will feature sculptures, prints, collages and jewelry Malpass made during his extraordinary career. His sculptures primarily explore the sphere using found metal objects. He would often say, “The sphere is the most perfect form. It is efficient, for example, with the most volume for the least surface area.” Applying traditional blacksmithing techniques the industrial shapes, composed of iron, steel, brass, bronze and copper, were forged into an arc and welded together to form the sphere. Ultimately they were ground and polished, wire brushed or painted. “In my work there is an element of discovery,” Michael wrote during this time. “For what I do is take what people have discarded, change the objects, rearrange objects, weld objects and grind objects to fit a sphere. I recycle but also elevate. The scrap is given importance because it becomes part of the whole and visually interlocks with the adjoining shape. It is, in a small way, revivalization.”
Malpass studied Fine Arts at Pratt Institute influenced by artists such as Theodore Roszak, Arnoldo Pomodoro and Alberto Giacometti. While working on his MFA at Pratt, Michael was inducted into the U.S. Army to serve his country during the Vietnam War. Upon completion of his tour of duty in Berlin, he returned to Pratt as an Instructor while simultaneously finishing up his MFA. His career commenced in 1977 when he had his first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery on 57th Street in Manhattan. Just two years later Michael found his work on the cover of ARTnews Magazine. Throughout the 80’s his career flourished. He accelerated his creative efforts, broadened the scope of his sculpture and accepted increasingly challenging commissions, including those from General Electric, Exxon/Mobil, Trammel Crow Company, Benenson Developmental Corporation and TRW.
In 1987, Michael left his full-time position at Pratt Institute to concentrate full-time on his sculpture. He had many exhibitions and commissions in New Jersey including The Noyes Museum, The Paterson Museum, The Morris Museum, Ocean County College, Stockton College, Island Heights Cultural Center, The Educational Testing Service, New Jersey Institute of Technology, State of the Arts – NJ Television, Artworks/Trenton, James Yarosh Gallery (Holmdel), Laurel Tracey Gallery (Red Bank), Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts, Grounds for Sculpture, Clifton Art Center and Rutgers University.
His vast, stimulating and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most esteemed sculptors of the 20th century and his work can be found in major museums and collections around the world. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on through the marketing endeavors of his wife Cathleen, in Brick, NJ. More about Michael’s work can be seen online at www.michaelmalpass.com.
The Pollak Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. All gallery events are free and open to the public. For more information about this exhibition and all Monmouth University Center for the Arts events visit www.monmouth.edu/arts or call 732.263.5715.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Center for the Arts