American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley
American Metal presents a retrospective survey of the art of Albert Paley, one of the world’s most distinguished metalsmiths. It covers all aspects of his nearly 50-year career, starting with his work as a jeweler and progressing through his recent, large-scale sculptural projects. Furthermore, Paley’s creative process is represented throughout the exhibition by drawings, maquettes, and photographs. He continually pushes the boundaries of what is thought to be possible with iron and steel, whether with his monumentally heroic sculptures, such as Sentinel (2003), made from Cor-Ten steel, stainless steel, and bronze, or his small-scale domestic tables, door furniture, and lamps, forged from steel and bronze. No matter the scale, Paley’s work provides a decorative richness to offset the usual corporate and institutional blandness of much contemporary architecture. It is no surprise that he is the first and remains the only metalsmith to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects (1995), the AIA’s highest award to a non-architect.