NEW SCULPTURE IN 2002-3
If Sculpture in America after l950 was all in patinated bronze or as a New Thing, that natural oxide of iron we call RUST, that began to wash out quickly. David Smith turned aside in those days from painting to making large sculptures with the shine of stainless steel, or colored with sprayed on coats of bright paint. Still some people are unsure if stainless outside the kitchen is approriate, or on the other hand if color on sculpture is really proper. Remember that Greek Ionic maidens, now white in museums and in our imagination, were fully painted with at times more fee to the painter than the carver. Dull and subdued hues may suit the timorous, but light and color are everywhere in our society by now. I might well quote the Greek poet Pindar: "Long live the brightness...."
THE CASCADE SERIES
These three pieces are about 100 inches tall, made of thin bars of stainless steel, on a 16 inch round base. The vertical 'spires' are unpolished stainless which is bright but shows as a lightly reflective gray, while the canted angles at the top are polished in a special way to reflect the maximum light from the sky through the day. The spires are attached at the base in a way that makes them seem to float on air, since they are supported by non-reflective , vanishing bars. These pieces reflect in different directions with the light, the left-most piece has a wider angle of view, while the right one is s a virtual cascade of light from the top. The spires respond to wind with very slight and controlled motions, which provides an interesting variation in shape and also continually changes the reflection. The pieces must be sited carefully in respect to verticality, since they are poised as delicately vertical to be responsive to slight breezes, while in strong wind they move actively while shifting the reflections back and forth.
The left piece in the above picture is designed to face and reflect in several directions, the bars facings slightly askew from each other in order to give a wider range of reflective view. But this as all pieces in this series can be seen from the back with an entirely different range of reflections. This one works nicely in wind, the tallest spire has a great deal of flexibility in the breezes and seems to almost gallop in strong blasts of weather. If placed in a garden or courtyard it can be seen from several house windows with slight changes of attitude, which makes it a very interesting sculpture.
The left and middle piece in the group view above, both in Massacusetts now, have reflective planes facing in the same directions, but the reflections are viewable from right and left as well since they point up to the sky. The tall spires have the most motion, and seem to float above the others in a breeze, while the display of all the reflective panels virtually cascades from top down ina continual, slightly moving sweep of light. At l04 inches tall, this is a bright and impressive piece, which seems to rest on air before attaching to the round base piece. But seen from the back, the reflections are all rearranged, and have a very different identity looking up at the sky. More intense in direction that the above piece, is is best sited where it will be viewed frontally or backwards, but view from right and left angles is still bright. Two of the spires have a touch of rec color on the sides of the bars, so when seen laterally, the images changes to thin lines with a touch of color, a subtly different picture from the frontal panel display. It is very hard to get a proper photograph of bright reflection in motion, and these small pictures should be seen merely as an introduction.
Seen close up, the cascading light on this piece is impressive, since is seems to gather force as it descends, while in a breeze moving gently and changing the brightness of the various reflective plates. Designed to be viewed from either the front or back, it has a wide range of angular views which change the arrangement of the plates as you walk around to right of left. Again the spires have a floating quality above the block base, and there is a surprising difference in afternoon light, when the angles plates reflect much more than the vertical spires which havae more of a grayish tone. As you walk closer you look up to this view which reaches up to voer l00 inches height.
For discussion about these pieces and information about availability, shipping and price, you can reach me email .
STUDY IN BLUE
This picture is the full size steel piece from which I was working on a new variant, which will have much of the form and color of this picture, but with refined details evolving as I work. This piece is about l02" tall, it stands on a very small footprint on a 16 inch concrete ring or a square marble block. The virtual three-dimensional maze invites the eye to explore the interior spaces, while walking around reveals eight surprisingly different view. Four are frontal and 'square' see-through views, but the angled approaches present a solid isogonic mass of compacted angles. The color is special in its three responses to light: Direct sunlight shows a light and bright blue, while in general atmospheric light it is many shades darker. The blue in the internal spaces is surprisingly dark and shadowy. The material is welded heavy 11 ga. steel, primed and painted with durable material and proper technique. Despite size and appearance, this piece is shipable in a space crate with no special problems in siting.
Here is piece Blue#2 completed during the summer of 2002, now in Massacusetts. Here it is still standing on the rolling platform which I use to work on it. It follows the general tone of the above one, but I wanted to give it a more airy and spacious feel while keeping the general idea and size similar. Seen from a straight-on side angle, it has more spaciousness that its original, while overlapping the angled views nicely into a compact cluster of shapes. There seem to be three hues of the blue which different amounts of light elicit. In bright sunlight the blue is almost a sky-blue, in afternoon glow this blue get quite a bit darker but is still a distinct blue, while the hollows become almost a navy blue in tone as ambient light does down in the afternoon. I tried many colors but found this particular shade of blue to be unusual in showing such a wide range of color in varying light conditions.
In this view, as seen from an upper story window, it looks quite difference, not only because of the downward looking view, but also because we are looking at it at the 45 degree angle. One of the most interesting things about these pieces is the variability of the shapes as you change your point of viewing, and the down-view is considerably different from a straight frontal view as you stand near it. Much sculpture has a dominance frontal "face", which means you have to go around to the front to see what it is about. I especially like the omni-angularity of these pieces which invite you to walk around them, seem them from far as well as near, and observe the difference in approach as well as the changes which different times of the day will provide. But this same piece when seen from this angle, is entirely different with its open and "see-through" airy feel. Walking around you see a continually changes set of relationships of the parts, in fact there is no front or back at all, only a successions of views which are determined by where you stand.
As with the Cascades above, more accurate pictures with detail will be available later. For discussion and more information about availability, shipping and price, reach me email
TULIP IN BRIGHT RED
Here is a piece which I made many years ago, which you can see under the previous sculpture section in a gallery setting as it was shown in l968 in Massachusetts. This is the same piece now in my garden, from which I have the original drawings and dimensions, so it is available as a replica copy. The piece is about 48" tall, on a 20" by 34 " base, standing lifted off the grass by about four inches . Finish is bright lacquer or enamel buffed to a perfect light reflection, which varies with ambient light throughout the day. I have always had an affection for this piece which possesses a certain lyric lightness, which is probably why I always thought of it as a garden piece named Tulip in Red. Color should be red but there are other possibilities, including stainless steel in a matte finish ! Cost depends on the fabricators, but since I work in Vermont with local craftspersons, it can be kept within reason. Again reach me email anytime if you want to discuss.