Arnie Zimmerman, is an American ceramic artist born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. Zimmerman received a BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1977 and an MFA degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1979. After his formal education, Zimmerman began a pottery apprenticeship in Lincolnshire, England from 1972 to 1973, and later as a stone carver in the Provence quarry of France from 1974 to 1975. Following his apprenticeships, he worked in Portugal producing ceramic tiles.
Zimmerman gained notoriety for his large-scale, carved vessels resembling totem poles. His work from this period is best represented by the eight foot tall stoneware sculpture he created in 1985 that now resides in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art.
In 1996, Zimmerman shifted his focus toward salt-fired porcelain figurines which were molded instead of carved. Many of these figurines were inspired by controversial and grotesque images of sex or violence. His interpretation of the of the unsightly and repulsive have been compared to the work of Hieronymous Bosch and Pieter Bruegel. By incorporating these subjects into his work, Zimmerman challenges not only himself, but viewers of his work to see the beauty in the bizarre.
In 2005, Zimmerman received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.
Today, Zimmerman works and lives in Brooklym, New York.
Zimmerman’s work can be found in public collections held at the Brooklyn Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nacional Museu do Azulejo in Portugal, and the Runnymede Sculpture Farm in Woodside, California.