Jonathan Borofsky

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Jonathan Borofsky
Molecule Man - Berlin - 2013.jpg
Born 1942 (1942)
Boston, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Education Carnegie Mellon University
Yale University
Known for Painting, Sculpture, Installation art

Jonathan Borofsky (born December 24, 1942) is an American sculptor and printmaker who lives and works in Ogunquit, Maine.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Borofsky was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in 1964, after which he continued his studies at France's Ecole de Fontainebleau and received his Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in 1966. He lived in Manhattan until a teaching position at the California Institute of the Arts brought him to Los Angeles in 1977. He resided in Venice[2] and Tuna Canyon,[3] Los Angeles from 1977 to 1992,[4] In the 1960s, Borofsky's art sought to interconnect minimalism and pop art.

On May 21, 2006, Borofsky received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon, his alma mater.


Jonathan Borofsky's most famous works, at least among the general public, are his Hammering Man sculptures. "Hammering Men" have been installed in various cities around the world. The largest Hammering Man is in Seoul, Korea and the second largest is in Frankfurt, Germany. Other Hammering Men are in Basel, Switzerland, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Seattle, Gainesville, FL, Washington, D.C. and Lillestrøm, Norway.

Commissioned by developer Harlan Lee, Borofsky’s 30-foot-tall sculpture Ballerina Clown was erected above the entrance to a drug store in a mixed use, residential and commercial building in Venice, California in 1989. It was motorized so that its right leg would perpetually kick until tenant complaints were lodged about mechanical noise.[5] In 1990, the Newport Harbor Art Museum commissioned Ruby, a 5-foot-tall plastic sculpture containing an internal lighting system and swaying, diamond-shaped light deflectors.[6]

In 1999, three of his Molecule Man sculptures, standing 100 feet tall, were set directly into the Spree River in Berlin as a commission for German insurance company Allianz.[7]

In 2004, the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore commissioned Jonathan Borofsky to create a sculpture as the centerpiece of a re-designed plaza in front of Penn Station to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The sculpture was a gift to the City from the Society. The work is a 51-foot (15.5 m)-tall aluminum statue titled "Male/Female." The Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City is a private non-profit founded in 1899 to provide "sculptural and pictoral decoration and ornaments for the public buildings, street and open spaces in the City of Baltimore, and to help generally beautify the City." For information on the controversy generated by Borofsky's Male/Female sculpture, see "Pennsylvania Station (Baltimore)"Pennsylvania Station (Baltimore).

In May 2006, Borofsky's "Walking to the Sky"[8] was permanently installed on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University near the intersection of Forbes Avenue and Morewood Avenue in Pittsburgh. The piece was temporarily installed at Rockefeller Center during the fall of 2004 and in 2005 at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas.

Major permanent commissions[edit]

  • "Walking to the Sky" (2006). Pittsburgh.
  • "Male/Female" (2004). Baltimore.
  • "Walking Man" (1995). Munich.
  • "Ballerina Clown" (1989). Los Angeles.

Selected exhibitions[edit]




External links[edit]