Sculpture Commissions

contemporary marble sculpture Arete installed at a private home

Arete is one of five marble sculptures commissioned for a Whipple Russell Architects project in southern California. This unique suite of five new artworks carved from Carrara marble – Arete, Spira, Aria, Odyssey, Aurora –represent a vivid cross-section of the possibilities of stone.

large abstract modern marble sculpture commission architect

Spira is one of five sculptures commissioned by renowned architect Marc Whipple for his expansive desert project “Serenity“, sited in Indian Wells, California. Rising above its glassy pool, the sculpture’s form folds into itself like a Mobius with no beginning and no end. Like the water on which it sits, the piece engenders a feeling of serenity and eternal movement.

abstract marble sculptures trio

Trio of Carrara marble sculptures sited on water, appearing to float.

large marble modern abstract sculpture

Rising 16 feet into the air and spanning 25 feet across, Passage was commissioned early in Richard’s career. This monumental sculpture carved from Italian travertine stands  at the entrance of one of the world’s best-known sculpture gardens, the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo. There, it joins works by modern artists Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, and Isamu Noguchi, marking Richard’s place in the canon of art history.

Conceived for Citterio-Viel’s La Bella Vita building, Seri Tai, sited on a reflecting pool, was designed to harmonize the architecture and landscape within the buzzing public setting of Taichung, Taiwan.

Commissioned by legendary modernist architect Richard MeierArete is a monumental marble sculpture sited at the entrance of the cutting edge “55 Timeless” Xin-Yi Residential Tower. Designed to cohere elegantly with the buildings that define Taipei’s rapidly changing skyline, Arete is among the expanding urban center’s earliest public artworks.

large scale Carrara marble abstract sculpture

Serenade is carved from the ancient yet timeless Carrara marble. Commissioned by a private collector in Los Angeles, California, the sculpture stands sentinel at the entrance of a custom oasis designed by Marc Whipple of Whipple Russell Architects.

The unfolding of a commissioned sculpture

Deep in the heart of the mountain, life awakens anew…

Captivated by the mysteries of marble at a young age, Richard Erdman has spent his career creating a singular family of forms. Entranced by geologic time, motion, and natural environments, Richard’s sculptures are imbued with universal tensions, while unique and wholly their own, independent of their material origins and the hands that created them.

Intimate to Monumental

Through collaboration and vigorous aesthetic consideration, Richard Erdman believes that sculpture, architecture, landscape can harmonize for an enriched experience of place on both individual and collective scales.

Richard established himself early as a formidable maker of public art: in 1985, his career took flight with the installation of ‘Passage,’ the largest sculpture ever carved from a single block of travertine. Today, his monumental works of stone and bronze harmonize with landscapes all over the world, from Switzerland to Taipei.

He has worked closely on both public and private projects with a host of internationally celebrated architects, including Richard Meier/Meier Partners, Antonio Citterio, Enzo Enea, and Marc Whipple of Whipple Russell Architects.

Quiet Gestures

Sculptures placed in private, more intimate settings are just as meaningful and experiential as monumental projects; the intention remains the same: for sculpture to serve as a portal to a deeper experience, vision, and lived experience of those in its presence.

Italian marble is tied to some of the world’s oldest architectural works, and Richard delights in imbuing the ancient material with new life in innovative, compelling settings.

Process

Richard Erdman Studios collaborates with collectors, architects, and designers to create original, site-responsive sculpture. The commission process begins with an in-depth conversation about the project and vision of both the client and artist.

With an understanding of the scope of the project in all its aspects, we prepare a proposal including photographs, conceptual text– the relationship between proposed sculpture(s) and site–renderings, and in some cases an original plaster model which the artist uses to create larger sculptures in marble or bronze.

The experience of conceiving a sculpture with its final placement in mind is meaningful, expansive, and simultaneously collaborative and intimate.

If you have a project in mind, please contact studio director Abbey Meaker at [email protected].

Timeless Forms

As a child, Richard Erdman swam in quarry basins hemmed by vast gray-white faces of marble. The glassy water revealed the patterns of the marble’s ancient making—millennia of prehistoric sea creatures, their shells emptied, sedimented and compressed over millions of years into stone. For Erdman, it was a glimpse through time. “I was a diver in another world.”

Erdman’s quest to create works that carry the possibility of revelation has resulted in some hundreds of works in stone and bronze, a testament to Erdman’s work ethic and focused vision over his forty-year career. While his work resides in impressive collections worldwide, it is the work itself that is the lasting mark of Erdman’s career. “Stone is the material we love to leave,” Erdman says; he labors under the knowledge that a sculptor can make only a limited number of works in his or her lifetime. The arduous nature of the work makes acute demands on the body. The artist, as he works, marks his own passage of life in sculptures that will long outlast all who now see them.

It could be said that mortality is the bound spring inside Erdman’s works; they carry the urgency of each moment lived as if it were the last. Fueled by his threshold experiences of nature, Erdman endeavors to wring the fullness from each lived moment, and from each form. He shows us our own present, magnified and expanded like air caught in his sculptures’ stony sinew.

Erdman’s works allow a view of the present, and of ourselves in it, as we might be seen from the quarry’s wall—small figures alive on the edge of vast space and time. Culling stone from the mountain, drawing its sedimented history into long arcs, Erdman does not just show us the glimpse of past and future he saw as a child—earth’s memory locked in stone—he walks us to the edge of ourselves, and turns on the lights.

Excerpt from “Perpetual Revelation: Richard Erdman’s Forty Years of Sculpture by art historian Amy Rahn.

Richard Erdman Studios