David Jacobs grew up in central Michigan in the 1930s, where his creativity was nurtured in weekend classes at the Flint Institute of Art. He spent his teenage years in southern California, and eventually earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Los Angeles State College. After joining the faculty of Ohio State University in 1957, Jacobs turned from painting to sculpture and began welding assemblages from found metal objects. On the strength of this early work he forged connections with the New York art world and commenced showing his sculptures in prominent galleries and museums.
In 1962 Jacobs became a professor at Hofstra University and settled in Sea Cliff, New York. From here his work evolved in dynamic dialogue with major movements of the 1960s, including Pop art, Minimalism, and kinetic sculpture. By the late 1960s, Jacobs gained recognition as a pioneer sound artist for his clamorous “Wah Wah” sculptures, which performed for audiences across the country through the 1970s. In subsequent decades he has created numerous aluminum sculptures that examine architectonic, typographic, and calligraphic forms in extended series. Having retired from teaching in 1995, Jacobs continues to live and work on Long Island.● View CV ● Hofstra Museum Exhibition Catalog with Essay by Matthew Nichols ● View Photo Gallery