Bruce Edelstein began showing his work in Los Angeles following his education at St Martin’s London and the Otis Art Inst (MFA). His initial exhibitions of assembled sculptures concentrated on esoteric materials including rubber and rattan, and depicted reflections on landscape. The sculptures resembled floor-standing folding screens, torn and distorted by outside forces and large, spacious wall reliefs. These works were initially inspired while traveling in Thailand where he also exhibited his work.
In the mid 1980’s, Edelstein moved to New York City with an invitation to create stage sets for the experimental dance company, The Moving Earth. In the following years he used the figure as a means to explore out inner experiences and contemporary subjectivities in light of the social and individual predicaments of our time. This work was shown at the Sculpture Center (NY) and the Denise Cade Gallery (NY) 1992 through 2002. The life size figures in wax and encaustic, along with bronze, featured both female and male bodies in expressive gestures to indicate stress, emotional isolation and a search for resolution.
In 2006, a trip to Oaxaca led to an interest in ceramics. He was attracted to the use of terracotta so present in the daily life of the culture. He returned to Oaxaca the following year to complete his first body of ceramic work in a studio created by the late artist Francisco Toledo. He also designed tapestries that were completed in nearby Teotitlan del Valle. The sculptures were inspired by common tools and utensils interpreted as large bold forms and were combined with wooden and steel structural elements. The tapestries depicted images from graffiti and the social unrest that grew from a teacher’s strike in Oaxaca. Both along with drawings, were shown at the Museo de los Oaxaquenos.
In New York his sculpture continued to evolve, continuing the use of ceramics, gradually combined with encaustic to expand his palate and refer back to his earlier work. The sculptures through 2019 developed the use of these materials into playful structures with references to the body, architecture, balance and gravity. One group, “Islands”, examined how the natural terrain could be altered through human intervention.
In the summer of 2019 Edelstein traveled to Colombia where he began working at a traditional factory of tiles and bricks called a “chircal.” Here he competed a number of sculptures using terracotta that will be shown at the Galleria Sextante in Bogota where he is represented.
In addition to his studio work over the last 20 years, Edelstein has also developed a very successful curriculum to teach sculpture to children. Several recent publications including two in Dezeen Magazine (2021 & 2022) have highlighted his work with children.