Residencies at The Studio

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Biography: Albert Paley

Albert Paley (Photo credit: Myers Creative Imaging)
Albert Paley

Albert Paley, an active artist for more than 40 years at his studio in Rochester, New York, is the first metal sculptor to receive the coveted Institute Honors awarded by the American Institute of Architects, the AIA’s highest award to a non-architect. “The allure of Paley’s art comes through its intrinsic sense of integration of art and architecture,” as one noted architect stated. Paley, Distinguished Professor, holds an Endowed Chair at the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Commissioned by both public institutions and private corporations, Paley has completed more than 50 site-specific works. Some notable examples are the Portal Gates for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; Synergy, a ceremonial archway in Philadelphia; the Portal Gates for the New York State Senate Chambers in Albany; Sentinel, a monumental plaza sculpture for Rochester Institute of Technology; as well as a 65-foot sculpture for the entry court of Bausch and Lomb’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. Recently completed works include three sculptures for the National Harbor development near Washington, D.C.; a 130-foot long archway named Animals Always for the St. Louis Zoo; a gate for the Cleveland Botanical Gardens in Cleveland, Ohio; a sculptural relief for Wellington Place, Toronto, Canada; Threshold, a sculpture for the Corporate Headquarters of Klein Steel, Rochester, N.Y.; and Transformation, a ceremonial entranceway for Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Pieces by Albert Paley can be found in the permanent collections of many major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Broadly published and an international lecturer, Paley received both his BFA and MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Rochester in 1989, the State University of New York at Brockport in 1996, St. Lawrence University, in Canton, New York in 1997, and the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden in 2012.

In 2014, Paley was selected as the first artist for a new specialty glass residency program offered by The Corning Museum of Glass and Corning Incorporated.

For the residency, Paley chose to work with two Corning glasses. He primarily explored furnace-working and casting of Corning Code 7056, a borosilicate glass that was engineered to bond tightly to a metal alloy called Kovar. Corning 7056 is used industrially in special electronic circuit packages that need the durability of the metal, and the transparency of glass, with a perfect, air-tight seal between the two. In addition, he investigated high-purity fused silica (HPFS). HPFS can be aggressively shaped and joined with a torch, similar to how Paley works metal.

“The unique characteristics of Corning specialty glasses will allow me to interface with new techniques and materials previously unavailable to me,” says Paley. “Over the past 15 years I have developed a body of sculpture incorporating glass and steel. Although these materials are totally different, they share the commonality of forms that are derived from heat. The plasticity of form development is viewed within an organic form context. The relationship of these materials results in a dialogue and a synergy. This Corning program aids and enhances this research and inquiry.”