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THE confident-looking man above is Louis Dlugosz, manual laborer and sculptor of the remarkable busts shown on these pages. Dlugosz is considered one of the five truly creative artists in the world today by Monroe Wheeler, curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The sculptor specializes in a technique he calls “form assembly,” a surprisingly lifelike style which emphasizes only the important features of the subject.

The urge to mold clay came early to Louis Dlugosz. As a boy he spent long hours on a creek bank in Lackawanna, N. Y., where he had found a particularly useful clay. He worked in a steel mill and at other hard jobs, meanwhile working with clay at night. Louis seemed to be on his way in 1940 when his work won him a one-man show in New York but then the war took a five-year bite out of his career. He met his wife Marcelle in Paris. They came back to the States but returned to Paris in 1950 where Louis studied under the GI Bill of Rights at the Academie La Grand Chaumiere.

There is a tangible evidence of Louis’ talent for three of his pieces are on display in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. His work has also been exhibited and won high praise in New York’s Riverside Museum, Kansas City’s Nelson Gallery and several other galleries. The Garret Club in Buffalo has shown some of his work, too.

Louis is employed by the Electro Refractories & Abrasive Corp. of Lackawanna. He, his wife and six-year-old son Michael live in a house crowded with his sculpture. His ambition is to make a living from his works of art or from teaching his unusual and eyecatching form assembly techniques to youngsters. In the meantime, Dlugosz labors for his art.

  1. Casandro says: December 19, 200812:59 am

    People who do things?
    Was that the title of a series?

  2. StanFlouride says: December 19, 200810:14 am

    From Wikipedia (I posted it here because of the last two lines):
    Louis F. Dlugosz, (1915 – 2002). The sculptor-steelworker’s only formal art training was at the old Art Institute of Buffalo. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, he returned home and launched his career. Using his “pretzel-bending” technique, Dlugosz rolled clay into strips and bent them together for a lattice-work effect, resulting in sculpture with an open rather than a solid interior His work was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Beaux-Arts School and the Louvre in Paris. In 1982, his bust of Lech Walesa – surrounded by bars because the Polish labor leader was jailed by the Communist regime – was blessed by Pope John Paul II in the Vatican. A bust of kidnapped American reporter (Batavia, New York native) Terry Anderson in chains was displayed in a downtown Batavia New York Mall until his release from a Lebanese prison. The chains were smashed by Anderson during a visit to his hometown.

  3. Charlene says: December 19, 20089:54 pm

    I like most of his work, but that sculpture of Lincoln with the holes in his forehead gives me the creeps.

  4. Jody Schmalz says: September 22, 20092:14 pm

    I have three of Dzlugosz’s work that I received from my father who was a contemporary of the artist.
    I absolutely LOVE his work!!!! I am so lucky to have these pieces.

  5. Andy Golebiowski says: May 25, 201011:16 am

    I am working on a documentary film about Louis. I am looking for anything I can get my hands on. Please feel free to contact me with any additional info, especially Jody.

    My email address is: [email protected]


    Andy Golebiowski
    Buffalo, N.Y.

  6. Firebrand38 says: May 25, 20102:04 pm

    I’m shocked! Shocked to find out that Wikipedia got it wrong. He enlisted in 1940 and was working on terrain models of Normandy prior to the invasion. A bit more than 2 years.

    Details are here http://www.monumentsmen…

  7. Andy Golebiowski says: May 25, 20107:46 pm

    I have no idea who posted the stuff on Wikipedia. Louis did serve in two different units. Perhaps he served in the first one for 2 years. I’ve got quite a bit of research on Louis that I need to get back to and will be updating the Wikipedia info and hopefully getting a website up again on him and his work. Firebrand, feel free to email me if you’ve got something or are interested in supporting our work at [email protected]

    Andy Golebiowski

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