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Making Sense of Space—A Sculptor’s Journey
 
Arc Construction by Alan Binstock> View larger image
“Arc Construction.” Glass, steatite (a type of soapstone), and steel. Credit: Photo provided by Alan Binstock
Alan Binstock has journeyed from a kid at New York’s High School of Music and Art (now the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art, and Performing Arts); to a metal foundry apprentice and yoga instructor in Colorado and in a Connecticut ashram; to a sculptor, architect, and NASA Master Planner at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. While he is a work in progress, sculpture and yoga remain constant themes throughout his life.

Binstock has exhibited his sculptures, including numerous solo shows, for over 12 years in galleries from New York to Florida, and has received critical national acclaim from Sculpture magazine, The Washington Post, and National Public Radio.

Binstock’s works are mainly constructed out of stone, glass, and steel. His abstract pieces range in size from the very small “Fruit of Knowledge” (5x5x5 inches) to his current public commission “A Pilgrim’s Quandary” that will be over 15 feet tall.

The names of his pieces reflect influences from yoga, such as “Siva’s Seedling,” to NASA, as with “COBE’s Cosmos.” Indeed, the names Binstock chooses for his sculptures are almost as interesting as the pieces themselves. Perhaps that is because they lend insight into why he made them and reflect his life journey and his quest to find inner meaning.

Binstock is the result of seemingly diametrically opposed influences. He credits four modern artists as influences: the sculptors Isamu Noguchi and David Smith, as well as the architects Le Corbusier and Erich Mendolsohn. A common element among all four is their preoccupation with the use and design of space, especially on a monumental scale. Following in their esteemed footsteps, Binstock, too, is a sculptor of spaces on a grand scale. Other influences include his lifelong fascination with yoga, as well as satellite photographs of deep space depicting the early universe.

Wayfinder by Alan Binstock> View larger image
“Wayfinder.” Glass and steel. Credit: Photo provided by Alan Binstock.
Binstock recently described his works this way, “My work harvests images and forms from our collective past, present, and possibly future. We share memories spanning time and place and a fascination with the expression of light reflected and refracted in the macro and micro views of the cosmos. My glass and steel sculptures seek a connection of space, time, and culture.”

Binstock is currently working with glass, combining its fragility with its strength of material. He breaks up the glass and then fuses the pieces into abstract, colorful shapes. The fragility and refractive nature of the glass is then counterbalanced against the strength and opaque nature of the stone and steel. Perhaps these counterbalances reflect the tensions in his own life, between the yoga instructor, the architect, and the sculptor; and between his Eastern and Western influences. The deconstruction and then reconstruction of materials of such varied properties is this artist’s way of making sense of the universe.

Alan Binstock’s listing of upcoming exhibitions and photographs of his works can be viewed on his Web site: http//:www.alanbinstock.com.
 
 
Elizabeth M. Jarrell