Eli Bornstein Biography

Eli Bornstein




Sculptor, painter, printmaker, and educator Eli Bornstein was born on December 20, 1922, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied briefly at the Chicago Art Institute in 1943 before enrolling at the Milwuakee State Teachers' College, earning his Bachelor of Science in Art in 1945. He also began teaching at the Milwaukee Art Institute beginning in 1943. 

In 1950 Bornstein became head of the Department of Fine Arts at the newly established University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. He spent the summers of 1951 and 1952 studying in Paris, France, first at the Academie de Montmarte under Ferdinand Leger, and then the Academie Julian. In 1954 he earned his Masters of Science in Art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

After his retirement as Head of the Department of Fine Arts in 1971, he continued to teach at the University of Saskatchewan until 1990. In 1972 he became a Canadian citizen. 

Bornstein's early career was greatly influenced by Cubism and geometric Abstraction, and his paintings and prints from this time foreshadow his eventual focus on structural relief art, creating angular, three dimensional hanging works. His first commissioned sculpture was Aluminum Construction ("Tree of Knowledge"), created for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation Builsing in 1956. He exhibited in Canada, the United States, Colombia, and throughout Europe.

Bornstein continues to live and work in Saskatchewan.  A retrospective of his work will be held at the Art Canada Institute in November 2024.

Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada; Art Canada Institute, Toronto, Canada; National Gallery of Canada; Remai Modern Museum, Saskatoon, Canada; University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN