Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1941, Roy Staab received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1969 after studying at the Layton School and the Milwaukee Institute of Technology. He spent his early years in Milwaukee as a teacher and art director, as well as singing opera, before relocating to Europe where he spent the 1970’s, primarily in France. Staab moved from Paris to New York City in 1980 where he raided dumpsters and accumulated the discards from SoHo sweatshops to make installations in his neighborhood near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He then began to work outdoors using natural materials that were readily available on site and found interest in the ephemeral and the site-specific.
In 1983 Staab made his first installation-in-nature using natural materials in Ocracoke, NC. In 1987 he won the New York Foundation Award that permitted him to make an installation in Central Park, New York City. In 1989 he created nine installations in various locations on the Hudson River.
Staab has received many grants and commissions for his site work including New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. He continues to receive grants and awards, including a Japan/American Artist Exchange Creative Artist Fellowship, Pollack/Krasner Grant, a Gottlieb Foundation Award, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant. In 2010 he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Museum of Wisconsin Art and was awarded the ‘artist of the year’ by the Milwaukee Arts Board in 2012. He was chosen for the Efroymson Contemporary Art Fellowship in 2013.
Staab has been invited to create installations at museums and outdoor locations around the world including: the Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan; the Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyvaskyla, Finland; Arte Sella, Italy; Sacatar, Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil; Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada; Cahuta, Costa Rica; Vence, France; Geumgang Nature Art Biennale Gongju, Korea; Wadden Art, Esbjerg, Denmark; Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival, Taipei, Taiwan; The Fields Sculpture Park at Omi International Art Center, NY. His preferred U.S. locations for working are in Cape Cod, MA and in eastern Long Island, NY. A Roy Staab retrospective was held at the Institute of Visual Arts, INOVA Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2009. Staab’s paintings, drawings and photographs can be found in the collections of the Musée d’art Moderne and Le Fonds National d’Art Contemporain in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Roy Staab, a peripatetic sculptor, continues making environmental art installations in many places around the world. For more info on Roy Staab click here.