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Wilfrid Zogbaum

American, 1915-1965


Wilfrid Zogbaum

Two Tree Island, 1959

Welded iron painted black
19 1/2 x 10 x 10 in
50 x 25 x 25 cm


Wilfrid Zogbaum was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1915, and never for the rest of his life was far from the sea. As a child, Zogbaum learned sailing from his father who had been an Admiral in the Navy. His grandfather, Rufus Zogbaum, had been an illustrator-artist who covered the Spanish-American War, travelling with the warships. There is no doubt that his grandfather had a big influence on him. “Zog” as his friends and family referred to him was surrounded by talk of the sea and nature. In high school, Zogbaum studied summers at Rhode Island School of Design. Zogbaum studied art at Yale University, followed by the Hofmann School of Fine Arts. In the 1930s, he met Naum Gabo, Laslo Moholy-Nagy, and Wassily Kandinsky while in Europe. Zogbaum showed at Staempfli, Obelisk, Grace Borgenicht, Stable Gallery, and Dilexi in the 1950s, being a key avant-garde sculptor. Zogbaum later moved to the Hamptons where he was friends with Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. Zogbaum was an expert in metal form, abstract sculptures and many of his works’ titles generally relate to the sea or its inhabitants. Zogbaum later taught at University of California Berkley, University of Minnesota, and Pratt Institute. His works are in the collections of MoMA, Whitney, Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MUSMA, and Carnegie Museum of Art.