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WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY SCULPTURE TOUR

Favorite Graces

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Favorite GracesArtist - Lila Katzen
Born - 1932
Died - 1998
Origin - America
Year Built - 1988

About the Artist:  Born in Brooklyn, Lila Katzen initially studied painting at the Art Students League and then earned her BFA at Cooper Union in New York. She later attended the Hans Hoffman School of Art in New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts. In 1955, Katzen had her first solo exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art. She accepted a position at the Maryland Institute of Art in 1962 and remained as faculty until 1980. During this time, Katzen began experimenting with plastic and other non-traditional materials; by 1968, she was creating large plastic sculptures in a Minimalist vein. Her Minimalist sympathies also led to an interest in installation, and she soon achieved international notoriety for her Liquid Tunnel, a light and fluorescent liquid sculpture, at the 1970 Sao Paulo Biennale.

Much of Katzen's late work uses polished stainless steel or aluminum, burnished so as to reflect light in decorative patterns. These works have the compositional appearance of cloth or more specifically ribbon; Katzen begins the sculptural process with small, narrow pieces of sheet metal foil which she bends and folds with her fingers. Donald Kuspit has described such works similarly, stating "the graciousness of Katzen's supple, textured stainless steel and bronze (sometimes aluminum sculptures) curve like voluptuous ribbon, often climaxing in what can only be regarded as a kind of bow." Favorite Graces also has the appearance of a large ribbon, folded into a form similar to Baroque ornamentation. In 1995, Katzen was invited to Wichita State University as a visiting professor.