Columbus Alive article on the exhibit:
“Stephen Sabo, 1903-2002” at Lindsay Gallery
April 5-May 25
Lindsay Gallery’s owner Duff Lindsay often gets inquiries from antique pickers about the value of art items they have purchased. Sometimes they’ve found something valuable, most times not. When he went to look at the life’s work of a deceased Columbus woodcarver, artwork that had been sitting in boxes in basements for years, he didn’t hold his breath.
Good thing. The art was going to knock that air from him anyway.
“You can imagine my shock when I saw Stephen Sabo’s work laid out on tables,” Lindsay said. “It was literally breath taking.”
Sabo, who died in 2002 at age 99, was a factory linesman from Columbus who sculpted animals and religious stories out of pieces of wood he found in alleyways by his home (his family remembers him buying a piece of wood for an artwork only once).
His decades-worth of sculptures is a reflection of his outdoorsman interests — he operated a taxidermy service with his brothers in the 1930s — and his life history — a tableaux of coal miners references Sabo leaving school at age 14 to work in a mine to provide for his family. Sabo had no art training, just a lot of technical skill and pure creativity.
Lindsay immediately purchased the Sabo collection after he saw it a year ago. Much of it will be displayed in its first gallery appearance ever this spring at Lindsay Gallery.
“I hope to honor his legacy,” Lindsay said. “He deserves to take his rightful place among great Columbus folk artists.”