Making Sense of Space—A Sculptor’s Journey
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.
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
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