Some of the works for which he is best known are “Spectre of Kitty Hawk,” 1946-47, Museum of Modern Art, New York City; and “Migrant,” 1950, University of Illinois). The sculptures are projections that seem menacing and wanting to twist free from their cores. “Thin members are combined with broader metallic sheets in open construction, as if Roszak were adding to a Constructivist armature a menacing and probing content” (Baigell 309).
Roszak was born in Poznan, Poland in 1907 and brought to Chicago when he was age two. In 1926, he enrolled at the New York National Academy of Design and also took several sessions at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1922, 1925 and 1927.
First a painter in traditional romantic realism, he was much influenced by his exposure to modern art when he took a trip to Europe, primarily to Prague, in 1929 and 1930. He was particularly impressed by the German Bauhaus theories of integrating the artist and his/her expressions into society through architecture and city planning.
Then in 1936, Roszak turned away from painting to focus on sculpture and made three-dimensional works of brass, plastic and wood that followed somewhat the dictates of Constructivism but also incorporated some of the amoeba-like shapes of Joan Miro.
In 1938, Roszak worked with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s at the U.S. government-sponsored Design Laboratory in New York City, which was created to bring Bauhaus ideas and principles to American Art. Other positions for Roszak included: Brewster Aircraft Corporation during WWII where he built aircraft and taught mechanics and teaching at Columbia University from 1970 to 1972.
Theodore Roszak died in 1981. (askart.com)