Claire Falkenstein: Time Elements

Sculpture by Claire Falkenstein of combined copper creating abstract form.

Claire Falkenstein, Turnabout, ca. 1964. Copper. University at Buffalo Art Galleries: Gift of the David K. Anderson Family, 2000. Photo by IMG_INK


May 6–July 29, 2018


Artist List

Claire Falkenstein


Claire Falkenstein: Time Elements explores the experimental yet enduring works of American artist Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997). Primarily known for her sculptures of tangled webs composed of metal, glass, wood, and cloth, Falkenstein was a prolific artist; she explored different materials in a variety of mediums including sculpture, painting, printmaking, and as a jewelry maker. Transcending these mediums, her work fundamentally expresses movement in space through a specific vocabulary she developed and continually referenced throughout her career. Falkenstein forged an independent course in establishing herself as one of the few American female artists of her time who continued to push sculpture into the unknown.

The artist’s eternal exploration into the unconventional emerges in her printmaking process as well. In 1962, Falkenstein produced Struttura Grafica, a notable portfolio of eleven relief prints done in Italy on view in the exhibition. Within each print, the process is tested with heavy embossing of shapes frequently seen in her sculptures resulting in three-dimensional prints that levitate somewhere between printmaking and sculpture.

Important in Falkenstein’s career were her public art commissions, which include the gates of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy, and numerous projects throughout California including the UCLA Sculpture Garden, the San Diego Museum, the Long Beach Museum, the Saint Basil Church on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, and Sun Ribbon, a windscreen adjacent to the Noguchi Gardens in Costa Mesa.


This exhibition features a variety of the artist’s works from the formative years 1956-1978 in the UB Art Galleries permanent collection along with significant loans from Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY. It is organized by the UB Art Galleries in cooperation with The Falkenstein Foundation and Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY.