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Richard Stankiewicz

American, 1922-1983


Curating Works


Richard Stankiewicz was born in Philadelphia in 1922. At the young age of two, he lost his father in a tragic railroad accident. Stankiewicz’s mother left Philadelphia after her husband’s railroad accident and the family settled in Detroit, Michigan. Stankiewicz grew up in a predominately Polish and German immigrant local community. He attended Cass Technical High School studying mechanical drafting, engineering, and art. Stankiewicz was offered a scholarship by Cranbrook Academy in 1941, however he had to enlist in the Navy as unable to afford college. Richard was discharged from the Navy in 1947 and made his way to New York City. Stankiewicz departed for Europe via the GI Bill to study art at Atelier Fernand Leger and sculpture with Ossip Zadkine. In 1952, Stankiewicz became a member of the Hansa Gallery founded by students of Hans Hofmann. Stankiewicz supported himself with various freelance drafting projects while experimenting with metal. He continued working with metal and eventually began showing more regularly in the 1950s at Hansa Gallery, the Whitney, Venice Biennale and even at the Stable Gallery in 1959.In 1962, he left New York for a quieter life in Huntington, Massachusetts. Stankiewicz continued to exhibit successfully on an international level until his death in 1983. Stankiewicz’s unique style in scrap metal combines whimsical, animation and a sense of robust abstraction, surrealism, and modernism. His works can be found in the collections of MoMA, Whitney, Guggenheim, Smithsonian, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Israel Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, and Philadelphia Museum of Art.