Sculptor George Sugarman, whose colorful, geometric aluminum designs were seen in museums around the world, has died in Manhattan. He was 87.
Mr. Sugarman, part of a group of artists who held court in the art world after the decline of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1950s, died Aug. 25, at Cabrini Medical Center. The exact cause of death was not given.
In the early 1960s, he was among the first to make large-scale sculptures that sat directly on the floor, not on a pedestal. He enjoyed having his artwork directly in the viewer's space.
A native of New York City, his pieces were originally made of painted, wood but he later switched to aluminum.
He designed his first polychrome sculpture in 1959 and turned to large outdoor sculptures in 1970 beginning with one for the Xerox Corp. in El Segundo, Calif. In the next two decades, he designed 30 more sculptures in both the United States and abroad.
A 1975 piece commissioned for the Edward J. Garmatz Federal Courthouse in Baltimore was at first opposed by several judges with offices in the building. They first objected to it for aesthetic reasons and later said it could be dangerous for children or could be used by protesters as a soapbox to make speeches.
The sculpture is being restored and will be returned to the Garmatz building as part of a landscaping project, according to Felicia Cannon, acting courthouse clerk.
Mr. Sugarman's most recent exhibition was in 1998 at Hunter College in New York, where he taught from 1960 to 1970.
Museums exhibiting his work include the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Walker Art Center. His work also can been seen at the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland.
Survivors include a sister.