STEPHEN DALY
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Biography


Stephen Daly

My mother could see the Statue of Liberty from the hospital room where I was born on Governor’s Island in New York. This was told to me later as a child and the image of this scene entered my imagination as the first sculpture I “saw,” thus sparking an inevitable course toward studio work as a sculptor.

Stephen DalyThat artistic path was not immediately followed, as I first had a desire during childhood to become a classical musician. I didn’t know what that meant in the third grade when I started flute lessons, but I eventually came to understand that I would forever be a practitioner and not an inventor. It was the role as the latter that I soon discovered would satisfy my creative needs, and I found the outlet in a painting class half-way through my attendance of Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, California.

The truly formative years for me artistically were those spent in undergraduate and graduate studies at San Jose State University and Cranbrook Academy of Art, respectively, and then as a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, Italy. San Jose State University had a very active art department and was close enough to the San Francisco Bay Area to allow plenty of museum, gallery, and studio visits. My struggle during this period was to find a medium I liked and determine what my artistic voice was to be. In San Jose, and again at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, I explored the mysteries of metal casting and found a formal and visual language in a machine/man, machine/animal synthesis much expanded and grounded a few years later during a two-year grant period at the American Academy in Rome where I could work, look and think all the time.

My wife, Sharon, and I had a daughter during my first teaching position at the University of Minnesota. Many years later, we are still together and live close to each other in central Texas. I taught at The University of Texas at Austin from the early Eighties until late 2007 and retired as Professor Emeritus. I believe teaching and studio work invigorate each other.

The move to Texas saw the introduction of a distinctly figurative element in my sculpture and the beginning of drawing as an art-form (as opposed to sketches for sculpture). The concepts of “situational” work and of “particulated” imagery (many independent forms working as a whole) continue today.

For more detailed biographical and artistic information, I recommend reading an essay by critic Susie Kalil and also refer you to the catalogue accompanying the 2002 retrospective in Valencia, Spain. It contains an extended biography as well as an essay by Spanish critic Marina Pastor.