About Sy Gresser

Sy Gresser (1926-2014) was a sculptor who worked in both stone and wood.

 

Groomed from childhood for a career in business or medicine, Sy discovered sculpture during a summer carving class taught by Bob Stevens at George Washington University.   From that moment on, Gresser carved, first in stone and later in wood.  He attended the Institute for Contemporary Art in Washington DC from 1948-49, where he met his mentor, sculptor Bill Taylor. 

Over the years, Gresser had residencies at renowned institutions such as the Sculpture Studio in Washington, DC; Yale University; Wesley Theological Seminary; and Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.  His works were exhibited in both solo and group shows in Washington DC, Maryland, Alabama, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, and South Dakota.  Internationally, his works have appeared in Mexico, and Belgium, as well as in American embassies in Switzerland, France, Nigeria, Madagascar, the Fiji Islands, Abu Dhabi and others.


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Gresser believed that art celebrates human existence on a spiritual level and transcends the idea of religion.   Since his greatest inspiration has come from the strong women in his life, his sculptures frequently celebrate life through the feminine form.  Gresser saw the female form as the embodiment of all life, not merely because of fertility or sexuality, but because it is expressive of all emotion and healing.  

 

Gresser’s sculptures have a universality of line and form, often mixed with what he calls “impossible juxtapositions.”  Of his own work, he says, “When I look at a stone and can capture some human warmth and sense of spiritual meaning, I feel then that I have been successful.   That is all I ask.”    

 

Sy Gresser died in his long-time home in Silver Spring, MD, in November, 2014.

© 2019 Hayden Smith