Sculptor, furniture maker, and visual artist Roy Superior, who has been described as “an absurdist, a risk taker, an ever-curious observer of the human condition,” died at 78 in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, on this date in 2013. With an MFA from Yale, he taught wood sculpture and furniture design at the University of the Arts of the Philadelphia College of Art and Design, where he served as chairman of the crafts department and was head of the wood program for 16 years. He also taught printmaking, drawing and painting at the University of Hartford and at Hampshire College. His work can be found in many private and public collections, including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art Archives. He was also a first-rate jazz clarinetist and an aficionado of the good life, as indicated by the title of his posthumous 2014 show at the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, “Patent Models for the Good Life.” To see a video showing much of his ingenious work, look below.
“The art world tends to pigeonhole and categorize artists; whether I am called a painter, sculptor or woodworker, is of little concern. I am what I am — an artist that is motivated to work by an inexplicable internal necessity to make objects and images that react to, record and celebrate my life and surroundings. In lieu of having an identity crisis, I combine painting with my three dimensional work.” —Roy Superior