Jasper, 2008. Steel pipe and steel plate, 100 x 120 x 120 in.

Steel Fluency: A Conversation with John Clement

John Clement is a mid-career sculptor whose studio is now located in Long Island City, Queens; until recently, he had been working at an outdoor studio in Bushwick. The new space is across the street from Mark di Suvero’s workshop, where Clement learned the basics of welding metal sculpture some two decades ago. Clement belongs to a group of (mostly) men who work on large-scale metal sculptures; his ellipses of six-inch metal tubing appear monumental and elegant at the same time. During our discussion, he elaborated his vision of contemporary sculpture—a point of view that examines the issues of new art with considerable insight. Jonathan Goodman: When did you know that you wanted to become a sculptor? Was art school helpful in your training? John Clement: I was fortunate enough to find sculpture, or better yet sculpture found me, within two years of graduating college. It wasn’t as if I knew I wanted to be a sculptor, because I really had no experience with fine art at all and didn’t even know it was an option... see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.