(American, b. 1938) Robert Perless was born Brooklyn, New York in 1938. He studied Art and Engineering at the University of Miami in Florida. After graduating, he took a temporary summer job on a farm in Iowa where he had a crash course in welding farm tools and soon after, an artistic epiphany, realizing his career would be that of Constructivist sculptor. Growing up near the ocean, he developed nautical inclinations and an affinity for the winds which constantly blow along the water. His wind-driven sculptures began in early 1970 after he and his wife Ellen took a two-year sabbatical, sailing their boat from the Canadian provinces to the Caribbean. In 1978 they collaborated on the construction of their sprawling, light-filled Greenwich, CT residence, a huge aluminium, steel and glass structure to which his state-of-the-art studio is attached. His massive works outgrew several New York studio spaces and the studio he built in Greenwich freed him from the constraints and problems of working as a large-scale sculpture in New York City.
Dutch kinetic artist Theo Jansen asserted that “Kinetic art was created by artists who pushed the boundaries of traditional, static art forms to introduce visual experiences that would engage the audience and profoundly change the course of modern art." Robert Perless is part of the Kinetic Art movement. He has created kinetic structures as public artworks for municipalities, post-secondary educational institutions as well as private sector commissioned art installations for various corporations. Robert Perless' works were discussed at the first International Kinetic Art Symposium February 9, 2013 in the presentation on the link between Kinetic Art and the generation of Electricity from the wind. His works were also discussed during the Breaking The Barriers panel discussion on how his 40 years of Kinetic Art works lead to the development of small wind turbines for use in urban environments. Robert Perless, has been a featured artist of the Sculptors Guildshowcasing his creative ability.
Perless is unique among artists producing large-scale public works because of his hands-on approach to his creation and not turning to fabricators to create portions of his work. His work speaks of the unseen energies that surround us and the fragility of our planet.
While having a humanistic appeal, Perless's work is not about the human form but about intelligent aerodynamic design, sleek abstract form and the energy, light and motion that surround us. His sculptures are strikingly grand in scale while retaining the grace and balance that Perless's design, computer analysis and engineering abilities are able to achieve. Ingenuity, precision and much physical effort precede the completion of his dynamic large scale works. The works are created in his large Greenwich studio adjacent to his home, using state of the art equipment and industrial materials. The streamlined works which are razor sharp in appearance, are kinetic pieces calibrated to shift and move in the breeze. His works advance the vision of early 20th-century modern sculptors, including the Russian Constructivists, the Italian Futurists, and European and American masters who were enamored with the use of new materials and the concept of motion and speed in art and life.