Jay Lagemann likes to work with many different materials, trying to use the ones that will best help him actualize his vision for a piece. These include wood, steel, copper, clay, plaster, cement, fiberglass and resins. Many of his pieces are cast in bronze and stainless steel. He plays with video and music.
Jay attended Princeton University, concentrating in mathematics and art graduating Magna Cum Lauda and Phi Betta Kappa. After receiving his PhD in mathematical logic from MIT, he realized he didn't want to spend his time working motionless inside four walls. He has travelled all over the world and has sailed yachts across the north and south Atlantic, as well as has played with dolphins and windsurfed in the large waves on Maui. It is no surprise then that when his love of art compelled him to make sculpture, he worked to capture the joy and essence of movement in dance, play, and work, as well as in abstract forms.
He is perhaps best known for the seventeen-foot tall Swordfish Harpooner that stands amidst the dunes in Menemsha, on Martha’s Vineyard, that was commissioned for Chilmark's tri-centennial in 1994. Responding to requests for a personal-sized version of the Swordfish Harpooner, Jay attended workshops at the Johnson Atelier and Foundry in New Jersey. There, he learned to work in the bronze medium and completed the casting of a prototype that was used to produce the edition of bronze Harpooner sculptures, all signed and numbered. Jay now works with A.R.T. Foundry in Lancaster, PA, and the TMC Foundry in Thailand. On Martha's Vineyard, where Jay lives, his outdoor pieces are shown at the Granary, Field, and Featherson Galleries, as well as his Wild Island Sculpture Garden on his eight-acre family compound. In 2013, Jay installed six large pieces on location in Beverly Hills, CA, including a large cast stainless steel Swinging Jenny. The second cast in this edition will be in The Language of Motion show. We will also be showing Jay's new life-sized bronze, The Dance, inspired by the Matisse painting, which was commissioned for a new house being built in Chilmark, MA.
Jay and his wife, Marianne Neill, have made Martha's Vineyard their home since 1976. They live in the house they built, which Jay considers his largest sculpture, surrounded by family and art, enjoying the many advantages of life on the Vineyard, while surfing, biking, hiking, playing with his grandchildren and working in his studio.