Michael Wilkinson

Michael Wilkinson is the pre-eminent figurative sculptor working in clear acrylic today. Represented in private and corporate collections world-wide – with literally thousands of collectors – he has created a body of work known for its unique beauty and universal appeal.

Wilkinson was born and grew up in northern California. From his early years, his aptitude for art attracted special notice. He was selected as the single student from his high school class to be admitted to an art honors program, where he received private instruction on art theory and application.

Graduating from high school at the height of the Vietnam War, he joined the Air Force and was assigned to Tokyo, Japan, as an illustrator. He discovered and studied sumi brush painting, Japanese architecture and calligraphy. The harmony and simple elegance of the Japanese esthetic made an impression on the young artist that would become integral to his esthetic sensibility.

After receiving an honorable discharge from the military, Wilkinson earned a degree in architectural engineering at California State University at San Luis Obispo. He moved to Carmel, California, where he worked briefly for the architect, Olof Dahlstrand, and made sculpture in his studio at night. In 1979 he took an extended trip to Europe, studying the works of the great masters of ancient Greece and the Renaissance. On his return, he moved to New York City, took a day job, studied at the Art Students League and The New York Academy of Art, and began to work seriously as a sculptor.

By 1982 he had created a collection of bronze sculptures. Portrait commission work followed while he continued to build his bronze collection. In 1984 he discovered clear acrylic, finding in its optical properties new possibilities for conveying the ideas central to his art. From the time he realized that acrylic offered a new opportunity for artistic and philosophical expression, there has been a progression not only in his art, but also in the acceptance of acrylic. It is now on the level of bronze as collectible and museum-worthy.

Wilkinson has occasionally lent his expertise to related endeavors. The Salmagundi Club in New York City invited him to judge the sculpture entries in the annual juried show. He has lectured on his sculpture philosophy, technique and esthetics. Most recently, he gave a sculpture appreciation lecture/tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

With international shows and numerous one-man gallery exhibitions, in two decades Michael Wilkinson has become one of the prominent sculptors of our time, creating beautiful and powerful works unique in the history of art.

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