The Sculptures of Barney Zeitz

APRIL 25, 2020 - JUNE 12, 2020
Barney Zeitz

Barney Zeitz, a native of Fall River, has lived solely off the sale of his artworks in glass, metals and drawing since 1972. Most of this work has been built on commission for public spaces and private residences across the United States. He is proficient in both leaded and Tiffany techniques, but since 1977, has developed a style of fused and bonded stained glass that is truly unique.

His skills as a welder/fabricator of metals developed over many years of making frames and screens for his glass projects. Since designing and building his studio/ home/ showspace on Martha’s Vineyard, he has fabricated metal furniture, lighting fixtures, trellises and ceremonial objects for the home.

In 1993, Zeitz designed a memorial for the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Providence, R.I. on a competition basis. This design for an outdoor, abstract steel and bronze sculpture measuring 144″ tall was unanimously chosen by members of three organizations. This sculpture was dedicated on November 9, 1993, the anniversary of Kristallnacht, and was the subject of a documentary video by Ian Ellerby.

He has since been commissioned by the Wang Center for Performing Arts in Boston, to design and build a sculpture in metal and glass in memory of Walter Suskind, a Dutch Jew who saved 1200 children during the Holocaust. Barney Zeitz feels that it is his responsibility as a public artist to produce work appropriate to each situation, yet stay true to himself as a contemporary artist.

Zeitz uses all hand forged and direct welding techniques in his metal sculptures. There is no casting involved. Everything is cut from sheets or bars and hammered hot or cold, then welded with either gas or electric welders. He uses hand tools for grinding and polishing.  His favorite material is stainless steel, which he has worked the technique over the years to get amazing results. Stainless steel is a very hard material, but Zeitz has figured out a way, with patience, to get the results he wants. Stainless steel is very durable and has excellent luminescent qualities. It glows in low light situations, like dawn and dusk, making the work more noticeable than bronze at certain times of day.