Based in Minneapolis, Bill Mack began his career as a commissioned artist, creating commemorative medallion bas-reliefs such as the Bicentennial medals for the State of Minnesota, and the cities of St. Louis and Baltimore. He later transitioned to the creation of highly elevated reliefs, which he calls “alto-relief”. His technique is more closely related to full-round sculpture then the traditional bas-relief of his early career, but Mack’s style and method is unique in the contemporary art world.
“Calling my artwork bas-relief,” Mack says, “is incorrect since bas-relief technically refers to low relief sculpture. My art, in fact, has more physical depth than high relief; it incorporates various elements in full-round rising toward the viewer as in the piece Illusion, where her leg leaves the background extending into space. Technically, sculptures combining various levels of relief and full-round parts are called ‘Alto Relief’ sculptures. A similar technique has been used on classic Roman and Greek buildings. However, until I developed my current collection, this art form had not appeared to any extent in modern galleries.” Combining low and high relief, incised lines, and elements in the full-round in sculpture works that are light enough to be hung on a wall, Mack directly involves the viewer in a 3-dimensional experience, both textural and tactile, that is often startling real.
Today he is internationally known for composite stone and cast metal sculptures in which highly dynamic figures threaten to escape the bond of their frames. He has exhibited in galleries from New York to Beverly Hills, Tokyo, and Frankfurt. His portrait reliefs can be seen in many major national collections including the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Figure Skating Hall of Fame, and the Statue of Liberty National Monument collection on Liberty Island. Mack further explores the meaning of fame and celebrity with his portraits of memorable actors and actresses on authentic panels from the original Hollywood Sign. Learn more about the Hollywood Sign story here.