American-born sculptor of kinetic work in metal, inspired by Clydeside machinery and engineering. He emigrated with his parents from Indiana, USA, to Craigendoran, Scotland, in 1913, and went on to study at Balliol College and the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford, before war service in the RAF and US Air Corps. His experience of engineering work during this period led him to take up sculpture, producing his first kinetic works while in military service in 1945. After the war he taught fine art at colleges and universities in various American cities, including Bloomington, Indiana, and New Orleans, and served on the board of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The author of an important historical survey of early twentieth-century sculpture, Constructivism: Origins and Evolution (London, 1968), he has received honorary degrees from universities around the world, as well as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1960; renewed 1961). His work in Scotland includes Three Squares Gyratory (1971–73), in the University of Glasgow, and Two Lines Up Excentric VI (1977), in the grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Belford Road, Edinburgh.
Bibliography: C. Henry, ‘Scrappy way to handle great art’, (Glasgow) Herald, 22 June 1995, Arts supplement, p.18; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002, pp. 399, 496; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 2, pp. 490, 520.
Ray McKenzie 2018