American (born in Egypt) 1913–2003
Brass, steel, phosphatized bronze
52 x 24 1/2 x 16 inches
Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Wichita Art Museum Members Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan
Not Currently on Display
About the Artwork
Ibram Lassaw was born in Alexandria Egypt, in 1913. After living for a period of time in Marseille, Naples, Tunis, Malta and Constantinople he moved to New York in 1921. Although Lassaw received an academic education, he became suddenly aware of the modern artist’s responsibility in developing new research paths. He articulated his work by expressing spaces that penetrate each other simultaneously. Spaces developed on different levels and among free shapes which materialize the drawing by creating an uninterrupted line made of welded and twisted iron wires, studded by bronze knots and other metals such as steel, nickel and copper treated with acid. The deriving labyrinth is three-dimensional and varies in structure and color while seeking for a subconscious freedom and an immediate inspiration, not far from the abstract expressionism of the New York School.
Lassaw wrote: “The deep desire to comprehend the nature of reality has long been a primary force in my development. We may intellectualize about reality and we may measure and analyze it. These ways have led me to valuable discoveries and insights. Nevertheless, intuition and instinct, the direct, firsthand prehension of experience, has proved to be the more fruitful way for my work. All day long, I observe Nature; people walking in the street, the movement of branches in the wind, the patterns made by neon signs and auto headlights on a wet night; marvelous cracks in the pavements; and equally, the range of one’s own feelings; the whole complex of both “outer” and “inner” reality. Man is a part of Nature’s organic whole.”