Elaine Lorenz About
Elaine Lorenz was born in the Bronx and spent summers in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Her interest in art was kindled as a child in an environment crafted by talented and creative parents. During her teenage years, she worked in her parents' industrial design business. Lorenz's years at Marietta College in Ohio and six months traveling in Europe inspired her choice of sculpture as her art form.
Moving to northern New Jersey in 1967, Lorenz continued to experiment with a variety of sculptural media. Her career as an exhibiting sculptor was launched with two solo shows. In 1976, Bergen County Museum exhibited her abstract carved wood sculptures and, a year later, she exhibited outdoor welded steel pieces at the Kornbluth Gallery in New Jersey. Lorenz received fellowships from both Yaddo and the MacDowell Art Colony in 1981.
Her first New York solo show took place in 1985 at the Bertha Urdang Gallery on 72nd St. The hammered and brazed copper sculptures she exhibited in that show marked a shift not only in material and techniques, but to more personal issues.
Lorenz developed a new body of work after traveling through the Southwest and working on a large commission. These new pieces are hard-edged geometric forms constructed in steel and concrete that are filled with pockets of earth and live vegetation. They are the synthesis of her early experiences: city living and a love of natural spaces, the need for control and the joy of the unexpected. A New Jersey State Fellowship grant in 1988 and the Athena Foundation in 1989 enabled her to build the largest of these works at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. The experience of constructing large-scale public art continues to influence and interest her.
Lorenz returned to school and earned an MFA in 1997. During her studies, her sculpture became more organic, personal and introspective. In this work, the natural matierials-beeswax, roots and vines-dominated armatures formed with a grid-like wire mesh. Based on this body of work, she received another New Jersey State Fellowship Grant, a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship Grant and a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Grant. Lorenz is currently working on new organic abstractions for a solo show in fall 2001 at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
Lorenz's work is in private and public art collections across the country. Permanent public collections include Bally's Park Place Casino, Atlantic City, NJ; AT&T in New York City; the Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ; the GTE Corporation, Dallas, Texas; the Castrol Corporation, Wayne, NJ; Johnson & Johnson, MacIntosh, Alabama. Her work has been reviewed by the New York Times, Art in America, The Village Voice and Interiors magazine, among others. Several of her pieces are included in A Guide to Sculpture Parks & Gardens in America by Jane McMarthy and Laurily K. Epstein.
Elaine Lorenz teaches classes in sculpture and three-dimensional design at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. She lives and works in her studio in northern New Jersey with her husband, fine art photographer Howard Nathenson.
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- Cliffside Park
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