Ralph Wickstrom

Urban Scene, 1997
Sculpture, Painted steel
29.25 x 8.50 x 7.25 in
SKU: 8825c
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"Urban Scene" is a painted steel sculpture by Ralph Wickstrom created in 1997. Deceivingly thin the sculpture is made up of straight lines and right angles that are so common in human cities. It is up for discussion whether or not right angles and straight lines occur naturally, regardless, such precision is an incredibly human instinct and their use is synonymous with architecture and modern society.

Sculpture Dimensions: 29-1/4" x 8-1/2" x 7-1/4"

Born in Sioux City, IA on August 23, 1925, Ralph Wickstrom was a collector turned artist who lived in Ripon, Wisconsin from 1961 to his death in 2019. After being discharged from the Navy Air Corp in 1946, he enrolled and earned his BA from Morningside College. After spending one year at the University of Denver he transferred to the University of Iowa and earned his Ph.D. in physical education in 1953. After teaching at 3 Midwestern universities he settled at Ripon College as a professor and became head of the P.E. Department and athletic director in 1961. His interest and involvement with art over a period of more than three decades eventually shifted from primarily collecting artwork, to producing his own. After retiring from his position as a Professor in 1990 he devoted most of his productive effort to making indoor and outdoor metal sculptures from scrap steel. Ralph found it challenging and deeply satisfying to give new life to scrap steel, or as sculptor Isamu Noguchi eloquently put it, to "reincarnate it as a creation." Universally appealing geometric forms and abstract shapes were the basic elements used in his compositions.

Ralph Lee Wickstrom passed away on, December 13, 2019, at his home with his family by his side at the age of 94.