Alexander Ney (born 1939, in Leningrad, Russia) is an American sculptor and painter. He immigrated to the United States in 1974 and has since lived and worked in New York. Developing several individualistic styles in modern art, he is most famous for his unique work in terra cotta sculpture, involving heavily perforated surfaces and intriguing forms.
Born at the outbreak of World War II, Ney's early childhood was entrenched in difficulty. Two weeks before Ney became 2 years old, the Siege of Leningrad was launched, described by historians as the second most lethal battle in the war's tragic history. The pivotal city’s rail connections were severed, cutting off all access to any food and power supplies. In the following winter that ensued, between two and three million civilians—including 400,000 children—died during the Leningrad Blockade.
After being given private art lessons at the home of influential Russian sculptor V.V. Lishev (1877–1960), from 1954 to 1957 Ney studied at the Art School of the Leningrad Academy of Arts, and later at the Art School of the Surikov Moscow Art Institute from 1957 to 1959. Ney befriended a wide number of progressive-minded art students, now stars of the contemporary Russian art scene such as Alexander Kosolapov, Leonid Sokov, Alexander Yulikov, Lev Nussberg and Vadim Kosmatschof. His relentless efforts in creating strikingly new interpretations of art quickly made the young artist legendary amidst his peers. Artists Alexander Kosolapov and Igor Makarevich, amongst others, recall that Ney played an influential role in their early years.
From 1965 to 1967, Ney taught sculpture to children at the House of Young Pioneers in Leningrad. Students included future Russian novelist Sergei Dovlatov (1941–1990).
In 1967 through 1969, Ney attended art history and theory courses at the Ilya Repin Institute. He continued to perfect his skills as both a painter and sculptor, as well as an art theoretician.
Notable collections of Ney’s sculptures, paintings and drawings are held at:
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