Biography

Arnie Zimmerman (b. 1954, Poughkeepsie, NY; d. 2021, Hudson, NY) was best known for creating ceramic sculptures that redefined ambition and scale in the field of ceramics. His work, ranging from the monumental to the miniature, from the figurative to the abstract, embodies his fearless exploration of surface, color, and form. For Zimmerman, “clay is the mother of all physical art materials. Humans used it first for utilitarian objects and to express the mysterious connections to the spirit world. They processed it with water, shaped it by hand, dried it in air and made it permanent with fire.” He was a lover of history and the ways in which ceramics can provide a deep connection to humanity as a form of historical record. His lifelong commitment to clay was his continued endeavor to “walk in the truth of the infinite ways humans have used this material.” 

Zimmerman’s art is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Brooklyn Museum, among others. In 2021, his work appeared in the Metropolitan Museum exhibition, "Shapes From Out of Nowhere." He received fellowships and awards from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts.