Michael Dunbar by Suzanne Deats
In 2006, Michael Dunbar was the subject of a 144 page full color hardbound book written by Suzanne Deats. Funded by the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and published by Fresco Fine Art Publications, Albuquerque, New Mexico the book was printed by a fine art press in Italy and distributed by the University of New Mexico Press.
Author Suzanne Deats chronicles the art and life of the eminent sculptor Michael Dunbar whose monumental abstract works anchor scores of university campuses and sculpture parks throughout the central United States. Here is a magnificent body of art produced over a long and active career. Each piece has been critically acclaimed for its emotional vigor, its internal logic and its structural precision. Each is built on ideas that mirror the sculptor’s personal history and philosophy. In form and content Dunbar’s art is quintessentially American. Documenting the sequential installation of Dunbar’s seminal sculpture Euclid’s Cross this book illustrates the precision and complexity of Dunbar’s monumental outdoor sculptures.
Standing 21 ft. tall on the high point ridge at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton, Ohio, near Cincinnati, the fourteen ton bronze sculpture, Euclid’s Cross, is just one of the numerous large scale sculptures created by Dunbar illustrated in this handsome publication.
In the foreword to the book, New York Art Dealer, Andre Emmerich wrote about Euclid’s Cross, “Its glowing bronze constituent elements, rising to twenty one feet in height, will be a beacon both literally and figuratively capturing space and light. It promises to become what curators call a pilgrimage piece, a sculpture which people will go out of their way to see.”
Genesis, the Origins of an Idea
The Genesis, Origins of an Idea catalogue from the exhibit at Kettering University in Flint Michigan. With a catalogue essay from Geoffery Bates, Director and Curator, Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, the exhibit celebrates the commissioning of the major outdoor bronze sculptures, Orbits of Isaac, for the entrance plaza of the administration building at Kettering University.
An exhibit of the artwork of Illinois artist, Michael Dunbar from 3-D sketch’s to monumental sculpture. Included in the exhibit will be models and photographs illustrating the process of creating monumental sculpture. Also on display will be examples of never before exhibited, three dimensional sketches that are the foundation to the process of creating his monumental sculptures.
Humanities Art Center, Kettering University 1700 University Avenue, Flint, Michigan 48504
July 20, 2015 through September 30, 2015.
Geoff Bates, Director and Curator of Manilow Sculpture Park
Michael Dunbar by Todd Bahrens & Tom Moran
In 2013, Michael Dunbar was the subject of a 36 page full color booklet written by Todd Bahrens and Tom Moran. Published by the Sioux City Art Center the booklet was produced on the occasion of the installation of Michael Dunbar's large outdoor bronze sculpture, Touched by the Sun, for the entrance plaza of the Sioux City Art Center.
Author and curator Todd Bahrens enumerates the selection process the center went through to commission the major new sculpture, Touched by the Sun for the Sioux City Art Center’s entrance plaza. He also details the concepts and process of creating the sculpture by the Illinois based artist, Michael Dunbar.
Tom Moran, Executive Curator at Grounds for Sculpture, chronicles the art work of the American sculptor Michael Dunbar and his ”Futurist” place in the sculpture tradition. “Michael Dunbar has gained his reputation as a sculptor whose mechanistic time-inspired sculpture celebrates and confronts the prospect of new frontiers to come”.
The booklet clearly illustrates, from eight compass points, the visual impact, Touched by the Sun has on the site and surrounding environment.
Michael Dunbar Sculptures by Todd Bahrens and Tom Moran is currently available through
Artnews: The Crime Issue
Iron Mountain II, 2016
Organized by the China Sculpture Institute, I was one of two American sculptors invited to join 33 international sculptors participating in the 5th China, Wuhu Liu Kaiqu, International Sculpture Exhibition in 2016. The sculpture, Iron Mountain, was selected by the Art Committee to be fabricated on a monumental scale at the Yidongyuan Sculpture Production Center in Beijing, China in late 2015.
On numerous occasions over the past two decades, I have worked with industrial firms to build my sculptures on a monumental scale. As a result I have experienced the process of working with others as they have fabricated my work for major commissions. With this experience I have been able to articulate my aesthetic concerns about the subtleties of joints, connectors and spatial relationships to the fabricators throughout the build.
Using the Machinist Studies as pattern models, I have been able to provide verifiable hard dimensions of the shapes, connections and overall composition for the large scale sculptures, in the process achieving the same level of intensity and attention to details from the workers as when I was fabricating my artwork with cutting torch and welding rods.
Even with the language differences and the complexity of the process by providing a Machinist Study of Iron Mountain as a working model along with countless e-mails and late night international phone calls, I was able to direct the fabrication of the sculpture, Iron Mountain, to the workers at the Beijing Production Center with similar results. Completed in 2016 and on display along with sculptures of the 35 international sculptors participating in the 2016 exhibition, Iron Mountain was selected to receive the “Special Honor Award” for the 2016 exhibition.
One of the largest sculptures in this year’s exhibition, weighing 6 tons and standing 15 ft. tall by 20 ft. long by 14 ft. wide, the Cor-ten steel sculpture, Iron Mountain, was selected to remain in the permanent collection of the Wuhu Sculpture Park in Wuhu, China.
The Wuhu Municipal government has created “A Century of Sculpture” plan in order to make Wuhu a city of “sculptural landscape”. Wuhu is an important birthplace of culture of Southern Anhui Province. Rapidly becoming the “World’s Largest Sculpture Park”, there are more than 160 large outdoor sculptures on permanent display at the park.
Inspired by the powerful machinery employed to mine the bounty of earth, the title Iron Mountain makes reference to the city of Wuhu’s history as a major Chinese commercial trade center exporting iron ore.