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American, 1912 - 2002
Sculptor and printmaker Peter Grippe was born in Buffalo, New York. He studied at the Albright-Knox Art School and the Art Institute of Buffalo. Working in terracotta early in his career, he later turned to making sculpture in cast bronze.
Grippe was among the young artists who founded the American Abstract Artists organization in 1936. They sought to promote a new language of abstract, non-representational images through prints and exhibits. Grippe enjoyed experimenting with the latest styles such as futurism and surrealism. His engraving, Jazz Musician, reflects his strong attraction to cubism in particular. Grippe used intersecting flat planes, lively patterns, and disjointed body parts to express the energy and rhythms of jazz.
Grippe was professor of fine arts at Brandeis University from 1953 to 1980. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
[This is an excerpt from the interactive companion program to the videodisc American Art from the National Gallery of Art. Produced by the Department of Education Resources, this teaching resource is one of the Gallery's free-loan educational programs.]