Albert Paley, the world-renowned modernist metal sculptor, has been active for over 40 years and is based in Rochester, New York. Paley has completed over 50 site-specific works and is the first metal sculptor to receive the coveted Institute Honors awarded by the American Institute of Architects, the AIA’s highest award for a non-architect.
Paley, born in Philadelphia, earned his B.F.A. at the Tyler School of Art in 1966 and, after beginning to work on his own with metals, sought his M.F.A. in jewelry and metalsmithing at Temple University in 1969. Paley sought to reinvent the jeweler’s art in order to highlight the relationship of the piece to the body; he called his unique creations “wearable sculptures.”
Paley began working on a larger scale in ferrous metals, including iron and steel, in 1970. He is now widely recognized in the metalsmithing community for his extraordinary skill with these unyielding materials. Paley's work, which often involves swirling and overlapping ribbons of metal, pays homage to European Art Nouveau and American Abstract Expressionism and is generally non-representational.
In 1974 Paley won the Renwick Gallery's national design competition, earning the commission to design decorative metalwork gates for the gallery shop. His ornate Portal Gates led to recognition as a sculptor and a new career, including commissions for monumental architectural ironwork and sculpture both at home and abroad.
Paley’s work is represented in over 50 museums and institutions nationally and internationally, including the White House in Washington, D.C.; the British Museum, London; the Renwick Gallery, Washington D.C.; the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
His work is also frequently published in periodicals and appears in several books on jewelry and metalsmithing.