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Paul Martin Wolff
It's an obvious question. How does a 64 year old lawyer become an artist. The answer is neither short nor simple. From childhood, I was exposed to the arts by frequent trips to art galleries. In college, I started to be an art history major, but fear of straying from the norm led me to majoring in American history and relegating art history to a minor. Lacking both adventure and risk, I did something that I knew that I could do well and attended law school. After graduation, I moved to Washington, clerked for a federal judge and then joined my current law firm where I have had a career that has exceeded, in all aspects, my hopes and aspirations.
From college to the present, my interest in art never waned. My wife and I have been avid collectors and gallery viewers. Embedded in my mind all these years was a desire to see if I had any artistic skill or at least interest. These thoughts would have remained only thoughts but for Sammy Hoi, the former director of the Corcoran School of Art who challenged me to take the plunge and, in no uncertain terms, told me that it was time to stop thinking and start doing. At his suggestion, I enrolled in the Corcoran, taking a class in sculpture.
The experience was instant rapture. Quickly I learned that this was something
I wanted to be serious about. Matters then evolved at a rapid pace. I built
a studio and started spending serious time sculpting. My current body of work
is a series of cast bronze and stainless steel sculptures created from 2002-2005.
They have all evolved from the simple, but extremely time-consuming search to
find the work embedded in the stone I'm working on. Added to this is the risk
that, in working in stone, there's no turning back. Errors are final, not correctible
as with clay or plaster. I work in stone because I relish, rather than fear,
this sense of finality. It is both energizing and enervating. After the maquette
is finished, I then decide on the dimensions for the cast piece. These vary
from no change in dimensions to models and ultimately castings
as much as 8 times the size of the maquette. The decision on size is made entirely on the size that I feel will maximize the beauty of the work.
Corcoran School of Art
Harvard Law School
Zenith Gallery, Into the Minds of Nine, Washington, DC, September/October, 2005
Trinity College, Sculpture, Paul Martin Wolff 2002-2005, Washington DC, May/June 2005
Private and Corporate Collections
Baach, Robinson Washington, DC
DLA Piper Rudnick Chicago, Illinois
Harvard Law School Cambridge, Massachusetts
Morgan, Lewis Washington, DC
White&Case Washington, DC
Williams&Connolly Washington, DC
Private collections in Washington, DC; Chicago, Illinois; Bethesda, Maryland: Ketchum, Idaho; San Diego, California; Los Angeles, California and Fairfield, Connecticut
Gallery Representation & Affiliations
Zenith Gallery, Washington, DC
Renwick Gallery, Board Member
Corcoran Museum, Board of Overseers