Richard Erdman makes the impossible occur on a routine basis: From the seemingly grounded to the truly ethereal, his sculptures express a vitality which transcends their temporality. The inspirations for his creations are multi-faceted and varied. They do, however, have a common thread evolving from the artist's own reverence for nature, which was crystallized during his early years in Vermont.
Erdman grew up in Dorset, Vermont at the foothills of the oldest marble quarries in the U.S., not surprisingly, these early experiences greatly influenced his life and work. He marveled at the cavernous shapes and formations of the quarries whose weather-beaten layers and textures unveiled the mystery of stone. He also engaged his passion of joyous physicality and risk-taking, leaping from high quarry walls to the water below, challenged by new heights and dreams. These two elements, a love of the medium and an intimate relationship with nature’s raw energy and beauty, inform his work today.
Richard’s adaptability and his intimate understanding of the materials with which he sculpts have led to the creation of a prolific body of work which encompasses intimate maquettes to massive monumental works. Known for his forward-thinking, modern adaptations of marble and bronze sculptures in graceful, flowing designs, Richard Erdman’s massive marble sculptures weighing up to 50 tons defy gravity, bringing warmth and light to their resilient stone bodies.
The artist’s work has been shown in more than 160 solo and group exhibitions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He has executed over 120 commissioned works for museums, public, and corporate collections. His work is held in collections in 52 countries worldwide for distinguished patrons such as The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Museum of Fine Art in Boston, Princeton University, The Rockefeller Collection in New York, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Four Seasons Park in Singapore, King Faisal Foundation in Riyadh, Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing, Bharti Airtel in New Delhi, and Handsome Fashion in Seoul. In 1985 PepsiCo commissioned Erdman to create the monumental sculpture titled Passage, which stands like a sentinel at the entrance to the esteemed Donald M. Kendall sculpture gardens at PepsiCo, considered to be one of the finest collections of 20th century outdoor sculpture. Carved from a massive 450 ton block of travertine, the 25 by 16 foot Passage is the largest sculpture in the world carved from a single block of travertine; it wondrously embodies lightness, fluidity, and grace, epitomizing Erdman’s ability to create the chimerical from the prosaic.
Richard Erdman and his wife Madeleine live in Williston, Vermont and divide time between studios in Vermont and Italy.