Eric Peltzer Studio
Altadena California USA
Visits to the artist’s studio are always welcome. Please contact us to arrange.
Documents for Download
- Vita – 3 page artist’s curriculum vita or resume, in PDF format, with commissions, collections, exhibitions, etc.
- Eric Peltzer Sculpture – an 80-page illustrated PDF book (very large download, 84MB). A printed hardbound edition is also available from the artist’s studio, please inquire.
The artist works mainly on commission, though there are some edition works and a few unique works available from the studio. Please check for current availability.
Commissioning a Sculpture
The commission process is fairly straightforward. Often a client will indicate some previous sculptures in the artist’s catalog of particular interest, and have a preference for a particular material or coloration. The appropriate size for a given location will be discussed. The artist will then take a week or two to generate a sketch or small maquette (3D model) and submit this to the client. Upon approval of a concept, the actual fabrication of the sculpture may take some weeks depending on size and complexity.
In my first year at Occidental College in Los Angeles as an undergraduate, I was introduced to modern sculpture in classes with George Baker. Occupying a cavernous studio near the center of campus in a converted gymnasium, Baker was an engaging and generous teacher. And the studio was an energized place. Our professor was not just some retiring academic, but had achieved some renown with his abstract kinetic metal sculpture, participating in international exhibitions, symposia, and residencies. He had done monumental commissions in the US, Europe, and Japan – most of which were executed with the substantial aid of students and graduates. More often than not, he and his assistants were hard at work on some imposing animated sculpture of his, right next to the beginning sculpture classes.
Previous to this, I had felt that abstraction was cold and disjointed from reality, but George’s approach was more to observe nature and architecture and people and to pull out shapes and motion from these observations. He was always looking at things, even mundane things that most people take for granted, and seeing sculptural forms.
I first assisted in 1981 on a large wind sculpture commission, and later on a fountain and another large kinetic wind piece. It was a unique opportunity not just to learn art and aesthetics and practical techniques like welding, but also gradually to gain experience with art dealers, exhibitions, and large-scale commissions.
After my degree, I continued assisting in the studio as well as making my own work. By 1989 I was essentially running the studio and directing other assistants in fabrication and doing the drawings and plans for large works. To George’s aesthetic designs I was encouraged to contribute mechanisms and movement schemes, motorization and control electronics, and other ideas.
By 1997, the year of George’s untimely death from asbestos related cancer, well over 100 unique works and commissions had been realized during my tenure. In tribute to our mentor, I and other former students and assistants organized a Baker retrospective show at Occidental, and arranged to have his last major work, a large wind sculpture, installed on the campus.
Access to the studio during all those years, of course, also gave me the ideal facilities to work on my own sculpture. I had increasingly been showing and selling work and doing commissions. Contacts were established with galleries and art consultants. In fact, shortly before George’s passing in 1997 I did my first large public commission, as the winner of a open public competition, for an eleven-foot high stainless steel sculpture in Visalia, California.
Since that time, I’ve done commissions across the United States and abroad. In 1996 I traveled by invitation to Japan, eventually completing three sculptures for a clinic there. Commissions have included those for medical centers, office complexes, corporations, and private homes. Of course, I realize the extreme debt I owe to a great teacher, artist, and friend.