I grew up in California and remember knowing in 2nd grade when drawing a willow tree that
I was an artist. In my teens I also was involved in the California "hot rod" car culture which
gave me my early experience in metal and color and started the development of my
engineering skills. After high school, I was offered two scholarships, one to the
California School of Arts and Crafts, the other to the San Francisco Art Institute. I picked the Art
Institute because I knew I wanted to do fine art, not commercial art. The Art Institute was my
last formal education in art and all of my engineering and sculpture techniques are self-taught
except for a brief course in welding at a vocational school.

My first one-man show was at the age of 20 in 1966 at the Open Theatre Gallery in
Berkeley. It was mostly paintings but did include 4-5 sculptures which were very simple,
minimalist, plywood and painted. I had a great review for both the paintings and sculptures,
but after that show decided I wanted to be a sculptor.

I moved to Soho, New York in late 1966 (I still live and work at the same place) at the
invitation of the Park Place Group, an artist coop run by Paula Cooper. I showed a severe
minimalist sculpture at their show in Spring 1967 and was invited to show as a full member
of their group but declined because I felt my work was going some place else. Up to here,
my work had been in fiberglass or plywood and typically was painted one color or black
with a touch of green or blue in it. Then I became aware of David Smith and began the idea
of making freer, open sculpture.

About 1969, I started thinking that instead of spending so much time making flat pieces and
rods out of fiberglass, I could just go buy flat pieces and rods of steel. Also it disturbed me
that fiberglass was not strong enough for some of my more extreme engineering ideas.
So I started making steel sculpture. My first piece were fabricated, i.e., I made a small
maquette and then a factory made the bigger piece. These early pieces were primarily
made by just cutting shapes out of the flat steel plates. Also at this time I intuitively began
the fight in my work, i.e., the wanting to draw in space, using free imaginative, unique, natural
shapes instead of the neutral shapes of squares, stright lines, rectangles and circles. I
wanted the more organic shapes of Mother Nature to take over. This also is where and
when I began getting into trouble with the Greenbergian formulas and the minimalists. I was
rejecting those neutral geometric forms which everyone always accepts as good design. I
was rejecting the formulas that I believe could make a lot of inferior artists look good, which
often create gutless art. I wanted to expand my free-style drawings in space. I was harking
back to the ideas of thirties sculpture, like Picasso, Giacometti, Gonzalez, Calder, Miro, Matisse.

After five fabricated pieces, I realized I did not have the patience or money for fabrication
and that I wanted to totally control my own sculpture. I took a short course in welding and
my first show of welded work was at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1971. From 1971-1981
I had a number of one-man shows at Tibor's galleries in New York and Houston. Lots of
good things happened in that period including in 1973 winning the $30,000 competition for
a piece at the Allen Carter in Houston (30' long -16' high). Critics at that time wrote that I
was an interesting post-David Smith artist, particularly interesting because I was not a
minimalist or pop artist. I was in the Whitney biennials in 1970 and 1973, showing low,
heavy, massive welded steel sculpture painted in one translucent color. Storm King bought
the piece out of the 1973 Whitney Biennial.

At this time I was trying to create sculpture that related to Matisse, yet kind of architectural. I
saw my pieces as a group of shapes that stayed in curtained fields, relating to each other in
the field. Often I placed shapes in a shelter. My sculptures at this time often had an
architectural quality to them, a roof, an opening, a shelf, and most of the projections went
inward. Compositionally I was thinking of Matisse's dance painting. I was seeing my
sculpture as continuous, circular formats, as something you were forced to walk around,
with all of the views being different. Again, there was this personal tension of how far
I wanted to take the hand-drawn forms.

In 1975 I broke away from the low pieces and started making vertical ones that gained quite
a bit of exposure and some museum sales including the Hirshhorn. Until this time all of my
work had been very low, not more than 4' high and often wide, up to 10'. I began to feel
the low stuff got lost outside. This also was the first time I felt I was making a significant
personal statement, as the first in the Formalist Group to start making vertical sculptures that
loosely related to the human figure - that had "legs", "hips", a "torso". I got a lot of flack
in all circles for this. However, I was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1976.

About 1978-79, I began to realize how important engineering was to me and followed up with
pieces that were vertical but at the same time had big cantilevers. I pushed the idea of making
the top of the sculpture bigger than the bottom, exploring how extreme I could get I began
playing with this idea of being a "decorative engineer". I liked the tension of the cantilevers
and the illusion of a lot of weight hanging over the work. These were work shown at
Diane Brown in Washington D.C. and De Nagy galleries in Houston and New York.

About 1980 the work got very complex. I started drawing lots of shapes and and developed
my ideas of color. Up to here, in the 60's, the fiberglass and plywood were painted very bright;
the early steel pieces were earth tones or metallics where I would grind the steel, then cover
them with a coat of translucent paint but I dropped this because the pieces could not go outside.
The 1975-80 steel pieces had no color and were just left to rust or had a clear coat on them.

As I came into 1981-1983, I felt I was going backwards. In that period I had started to experiment
with the "legs" or support for my vertical pieces, which I felt resulted in more "neutralized" shapes-
i.e. folded triangles and squares for legs. I was only using a few curves and leafy shapes and
at the end of this period started seriously painting the works and using color and developing
techniques to allow the painted work to go outside. But the color did not seem to go with the
more neutralized shapes. This lead to the explosion which was the very serious start of my
current work. Also in 1984 I received a $15,000 grant from the NEA.

In 1983-84, this explosion lead to the direction in my work where every shape would be unique.
Every shape would be hand-drawn whether geometric or organic. Also the idea of using spiral
lines and swirls began and the idea of cut-outs in the shapes to allow the viewer to see the guts
of the piece. I was looking for a real looseness and freedom. I wanted to come up with original
shapes, shapes that I could say were mine. At the same time I pushed the use of color. My
spring 1985 show with Patricia Hamilton at the 112 Greene Street space showed my work
getting very sophisticated, pushing the ideas of shapes and color but also causing me a lot of
flack in the art world. I was trying to mix together shapes not necessarily homogeneous, very
organic ones against severely geometric ones. I just kept pushing the drawing, the idea of
taking the structure to the limit. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York bought a piece
from this period. In the late 80's I started my own dealing, working in partnership with
Pat Hamilton and a financial backer. It was a very successful time for me-- financially good,
a great sense of freedom, and quite a bit of critical response.

The early nineties were also a good time for me. I think my most impressive exhibition showing
a lot of my new ideas and work was the 1994-95 Adelson and Beadleson show on West
Broadway. I felt that work showed the fulfillment of my earlier ideas and goals and also some
new things, particularly some very light and free pieces. Another significant show of the 90's
featured only small works (3-4 feet) which is the closest I've come to a real series. I was also
surprised to see how far I could go on small works and how many I turned into larger pieces
or commissions.

One of my favorite most recent works is Area 51, a very large piece (10.5' x 13' x 10'). I like its
environmental quality, its very individual forms, the fact that every shape is very different yet they
all work together. I feel my new work is very much like drawing in space, like placing things in
space. These pieces are a little out of synch, yet work. Also two very new pieces and very
successful ones are vertical; one is a totem, the other is very curvy with the rhythm of its curves
climbing into the air and a dark color paint. Recent new directions are the use of pastels,
experimenting with very big and very small pieces, using plexiglass to make shapes and then
getting the best of both worlds. With plexiglass one has the image and one can see through it.
I like the way it creates illusions of space, particularly when you cut holes in it. Also Area 51 has
incorporated the use of an electric light inside the piece that bounces light off the floor.
Two of the highlights of the year 2000 has been to be included in "Welded! Sculpture
of the 20th Century" at the Neuberger Museum of Art and "The First 50 Years" at the
Tibor de Nagy Gallery.

It was very gratifying to have my older work recognized and included in two such prestigious
exhibitions and books. However, I am hoping that my upcoming 2001 show will generate
interest in and critical response to my current work. I feel that as we go into this millennium,
I want to push my ideas of original shapes and colors as far as they can go. My work ultimately
is always about reevaluating its implicit balance. It is about questioning and reevaluating what
is the perfect balance between color and no color, between geometric shapes and organic
ones, between lightness and heaviness, between bright colors and light ones, between one
color and 100 colors, between large and small, etc. It is always about balance and always
about a structure.