Thaddeus Mosley

Thaddeus Mosley (b. 1926, New Castle, PA) is a Pittsburgh-based self-taught artist whose monumental sculptures are crafted with the felled trees of Pittsburgh’s urban canopy, via the city’s Forestry Division. Using only a mallet and chisel, Mosley reworks salvaged timber into biomorphic forms. With influences ranging from Isamu Noguchi to Constantin Brâncuși—and the Bamum, Dogon, Baoulé, Senufo, Dan, and Mossi works of his personal collection—Mosley’s sculptures mark an inflection point in the history of American abstraction. These “sculptural improvisations,” as he calls them, take cues from the modernist traditions of jazz. “The only way you can really achieve something is if you’re not working so much from a pattern. That’s also the essence of good jazz,” Mosley says of his method. Mosley had his first Karma solo exhibition in 2020, and was commissioned for the 2020 edition of Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center, New York.

Mosley is the recipient of the 2022 Isamu Noguchi Award. His work has been exhibited and acquired by major museums and foundations since 1959, including the Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the occasion of the 57th Edition of the Carnegie International (2018). His work is held in public collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York; and the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine.

His traveling solo exhibition, Forest, is currently on view at Art+Practice, Los Angeles. The show traveled from the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore and will continue on to the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas.

Single work, Thaddeus Mosley

Born 1926, New Castle, Pennsylvania
Lives and works in Pittsburgh



BA, English and Journalism, University of Pittsburgh

Selected Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions


Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Forest (forthcoming)


Art + Practice, Los Angeles, Forest

70 Main Street, Maine, Thaddeus Mosley and Frank Walter: Sanctuary


Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland, Forest


Karma, New York


CUE Art Foundation, New York


Paul Mesaros Gallery, Morgantown, West Virginia


August Wilson Center, Pittsburgh, Sculptures by Thaddeus G. Mosley


The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, Thaddeus Mosley: Sculpture (Studio/Home)


CUE Art Foundation, New York


Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, Thaddeus Mosley


Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Recent Sculpture by Thaddeus Mosley


Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Pittsburgh


Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh


Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, Artist of the Year


Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Selected Group Exhibitions


Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Symbiosis, curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody

The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, Courage Before Expectation, curated by Keith Rivers

Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway, File Under Freedom


Maximillian William, London, Embodying Anew
Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, Romancing the Surface, curated by Loie Hollowell


Friedman Benda, New York, Comfort, curated by Omar Sosa


Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Carnegie International
Featherstone Center for the Arts, Massachusetts, The Beautiful Difference


Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art


Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, Society of Sculptors 80th Anniversary Annual Exhibition


Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Uncrated: The Hidden Lives of Artworks
University Art Gallery at the University of Pittsburgh, Exposure: Black Voices in the Arts


African American Cultural Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Generations: Six African American Artists


National Academy of Design, New York, 183rd Annual: Am Innovational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art

Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, In Search of Missing Masters: The Lewis Tanner Moore Collection of African American Art


Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Popular Salon of the People: Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annuals, 1910-2006


Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 66th Annual Exhibition of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh


Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh

Selected Public Projects and Installations


Harvard Business School, Boston

Sculpture Milwaukee, there is this We, curated by Theaster Gates and Michelle Grabner

Urban Redevelopment Authority, East Bond Plaza, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, EQT Plaza, Pittsburgh


Frieze Sculpture, Rockefeller Center, New York, curated by Brett Littman


Cities of Asylum, Pittsburgh, Winged House

Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago

High Museum of Art, Atlanta

Brooklyn Museum, New York

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Colby College Museum, Waterville, Maine

Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Pittsburgh

Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh

David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh

The August Wilson African American Center, Pittsburgh

Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Baltimore Museum of Art


Isamu Noguchi Award

American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards in Art

Governor’s Award for Artist of the Year, Pennsylvania Visual Arts

Cultural Award, Pittsburgh Center of the Arts

Service in the Arts Award, Pittsburgh Center of the Arts

History Makers Award, Senator John Heinz History Center



Thaddeus Mosley
Texts by Ingrid Schaffner, Sam Gilliam, Brett Littman, Jessica Bell Brown, Ed Roberson, Connie H. Choi, and an interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Karma, New York
312 pages, hardcover
7 1/2 × 9 1/4 inches


Thaddeus Mosley: African-American Sculptor
Narrative by David Lewis
University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh
86 pages, soft cover
8 × 10 inches