"Between college and graduate school… I learned the ancient techniques and craftsmanship of watermill and windmill construction and preservation. As a result of these influences and experiences, my aesthetic is rooted in craftsmanship while being informed by the sublime nature of minimal forms and the layering of history and ideas."
As a young art student in the 1970's, Karpowicz was influenced by the theories and practices of Minimalism and Conceptualism. He was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes scholarship to the United Kingdom before graduate school, to serve as apprentice to the sole millwright for the government's Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. This influence taught him the ancient techniques of craftsmanship of watermill and windmill construction preservation. Karpowicz prime interests lie within the interactions of wind, water, sunlight and gravity on natural materials. His sculptures are created through the joining of irregular organic materials to machine-tooled geometric shapes of steel. These sculptures exist in a kinetic relationship between the sculpture and its environment.
Karpowicz has a strong committment to public art. He co-founded Chicago Sculpture International, a group of artists actively committed to promoting sculpture in Chicago’s neighborhoods, and also serves as installation manager for Chicago’s International Sculpture Exchange Program, a partnership of the City, Chicago Gateway Green, and Sister Cities International to install large-scale sculpture from around the world at the gateways to the city.