Donald Lipski is a sculptor known for his poetic combining and altering of existing
things and for his enigmatic installation works. Since coming to prominence with his
Museum of Modern Art installation Gathering Dust in 1979—thousands of tiny
sculptures pinned to the walls—his work has been shown in galleries and museums
around the world. He is represented in the permanent collections of dozens of museums,
including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The
Menil Collection andThe Chicago Art Institute. He has been written about extensively,
and is included in the college text The History of Modern Art, by H. H. Arneson.
He is the winner of many awards and honors, including The Guggenheim Fellowship,
three National Endowment for the Arts Awards, and The Academy Award of the
American Academy of Arts & Letters, and The Rome Prize of the American Academy in
In recent years he has also created dozens of prominent and compelling public sculptures.
His artworks have been repeatedly cited by Art in America as among the "Best Public Art
of the Year", and regularly included in The Public Art Network's "Year In Review." His
public projects have been both overwhelmingly popular with the general public and
garnered critical acclaim. The sculpture, Sirsashana, created for New York's Grand
Central Terminal in 2000, began a stream of inventive and ground-breaking works for
airports, schools, libraries, sports stadiums and other public sites. Many of his pieces
have become icons and touchstones for their communities, and "must-see" experiences
Lipski was born in Chicago in 1947, and grew up in suburban Highland Park, Illinois.
He studied American History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (B.A., 1970), and
Ceramics at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan (M.F.A., 1973). He taught at the
University of Oklahoma, Norman, and at Cooper Union in New York, and has lectured at
more than 100 colleges, universities, art schools and museums. He has lived his adult life
in New York City, Sag Harbor, NY, Philadelphia and Rome, Italy. His time now is split
between New York City and the East End of Long Island.
“As an heir to the Surrealist tradition, the sculptor explores how context
transforms the meaning of found objects, and he possesses the knack at
composing fantastical stories from unexpected combinations of materials. What
sets Mr. Lipski above most others who have pursued this well-trodden path is the
quirky, inventive quality to the problems his work poses and the strange, graceful
eloquence of his solutions.”
New York Times critic