Harold Tovish is a sculptor who works in bronze, wood, and synthetic media. He attended WPA art classes in the late 1930s and studied with Oronzio Maldarelli at Columbia University, then went to Paris to work with Ossip Zadkine. Tovish's early work reflects his experiments with figurative naturalism, which he often used to express themes of victimization. In 1949 his ideas became explicit in a series of figures that captured the horror he felt as a soldier exposed to Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II. Throughout his work Tovish seeks to unify form and content, placing heads or fragments of heads within spaces that function variously as refuges, prisons, or symbols of technological or societal entrapment. In the early 1950s, Tovish moved to Boston where he has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at Boston University. He spent 1965 as artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome.
Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)