Born in 1934 in Brooklyn, New York, Sigmund Abeles grew
up in Myrtle Beach, SC. As a young man, he spent countless days sketching
and drawing the sculpture in nearby Brookgreen Gardens before leaving
the lowcountry to attend the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
Following graduation in 1955 from USC with a B.A. in Fine Arts, Abeles
studied at the Art Students League of New York in NYC, the Skowhegan
School in Maine and received a Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia University
in 1957. Coastal Carolina University presented Abeles with an honorary
Doctorate in Fine Arts.
Much of his career has been spent in academic
settings teaching at such schools as Wellesley College, Swain School
of Design in Massachusetts, Boston University, the University of New
Hampshire and the Art Students League of New York. His studio is in
New York City where he has lived since 1994. Abeles' work and teaching
are focused in an intense and empathetic investigation of the human
figure and how it relates to our times. First and foremost, he believes
an artist needs to be able to draw well, from life as well as memory
and imagination, in order to communicate what he sees, senses, and dreams
about, and to create convincing visual expression.
Abeles' work, mainly figurative, has been
critically acclaimed and he has been a member of the prestigious National
Academy since 1990. Some of his awards are: National Institute of Fine
Arts & Letters Award, National Council of Arts & Humanities
Sabbatical Grant, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant for Graphics.
His works are in permanent collections of leading institutions including
the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, the Whitney Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum
of Modern Art.