A leading international figure in metal sculpture, Chicago born Caroline Lee was one of the few women in the world to produce monumental public sculptures, the only to do so in stainless steel.Upon graduating from The University of Chicago (Lifetime Achievement Award in 1981), Lee received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute. As a Fulbright Grant recipient, she moved to Paris, France in 1958, where she met sculptor César and was represented by Darthea Speyer for many years. She received international recognition, the crowning achievement of which was the Del Duca Sculpture Award in 2006. Caroline Lee made many public commissions chiefly in France and in the USA, fountains, signals, figures floating above the common herd, and symbolic objects like the seminal Hommage à la Résistance in Montreuil, near Paris. Her work is represented in public and private collections in France, Europe and the United States.
Steel pushes you in a certain direction. It is used for utilitarian objects. To be a sculptor is to engage with the life of your own times, and so it is industrial “bodies” I wanted to make. And personally, I’ve always been fascinated by movements to free oneself, the will to go beyond the confines, the restrictions, be they mental or physical…That’s why I’ve never felt the need to either tone down nor emphasise my masculine or feminine sides because to me, an artist is intrinsically hermaphroditic.