Lambert St. Louis International Airport Terminal, interior, wall decoration. Ezra Stoller Archive. Artstor,
A little girl in saddle shoes, feet barely touching the ground, sinks into an Eames DAX-style armchair. The back of her head, covered in a demure cap, brushes one of the many colorful squares of an airy partition shielding coffee shop patrons from Lambert’s main terminal. She is dwarfed by Yamasaki’s soaring arches, enveloped in a sea of geometry—squares of terrazzo underfoot, rectangular panes of glass overhead.
It is 1956. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is freshly minted the “Grand Central of the Air” by Architectural Forum, a model for future airport terminals. By 1966, just a decade later, it will have expanded (as it was always meant to with initial plans for up to three additional vaults).[ii] Somewhere in the shuffle, it will have lost three of its most memorable assets—two reclining figures by Henry Moore that languidly guarded the main terminal entrance and a forty-eight-foot screen by artist and designer Harry Bertoia composed of hundreds of metal squares, solid foils and intriguing frames suspended on thin chrome poles. The Moores were yanked in 1970 by lenders Isabel and Howard Baer, after Howard Baer who served on the airport commission from 1954-1970 concluded the airport environment with its constant commotion and construction made the sculptures “almost ill at ease.” [iii] The Bertoia disappeared during a renovation in the late 1960s, allegedly hacked apart and buried in a south city dump—“three-and-a-half months of continuous work” by a modern master lost.[iv] Albeit achingly brief, Lambert’s golden age of public sculpture must have been beautiful.
In this period, often presented under a haze of nostalgia, TWA agents wore uniforms designed by the Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain. Kitty Hawk diners sat in shiny chrome-legged chairs covered in orange naugahyde.[v] There was no such thing as an oversold flight. You could travel from St. Louis to Los Angeles direct without ever being patted down or patronized or forced to take off your shoes. What you could not do was have a martini. Due to some shady political negotiations, alcohol was forbidden in St. Louis Lambert-International airport in its early years.[vi] And although you may have heard of the fresh-faced flight attendants in pill box hats and white gloves, chances are you had never actually laid eyes upon them: “In 1965, no more than 20 percent of Americans had ever flown in an airplane.”[vii] Before the deregulation of the airlines in 1978, tickets were grossly expensive.
So while you are enjoying a beer at the Schlafly Tap Room, examining an electronic ticket whose price (adjusted for inflation) is about half of what is was in the mid-1950s, consider what may turn out to be the true heyday of air travel. Accessibility often comes at the cost of glamour. Thankfully, it is still nearly impossible to suck all the wonder out of air travel. Flying, for most humans, remains a marvel.
Lambert energetically continues its tradition of public art installation—the luminous glass panels designed by local artists in concourses A and C are a personal favorite—but however unfairly (after all, it’s hard to compete with the dead), I can’t help but yearn for the sense of spectacle that dazzling Bertoia screen must have had. That kind of presence is often best conveyed through sculpture, particularly the forty-eight-foot fluttering variety. For now, one of Bertoia’s delicate four-foot long maquettes for the screen and Ian Monroe’s 2011 colorful vinyl collage memorializing the fallen artwork, appropriately titled ghost, will have to do. They, as well as Henry Moore’s Reclining Figures, are in the collection of another barrel-vaulted St. Louis institution: Lambert’s loss, I am happy to report, is the Saint Louis Art Museum’s gain.
Henry Moore’s Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 1, 1959 and Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 2, 1960 at Lambert St. Louis International Airport. Image courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2014 / www.henry-moore.org *
Ian Monroe, American, born 1972; ghost, 2011; vinyl on acrylic; 12 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, The Henry L. and Natalie Edison Freund Charitable Trust 147:2011 © Ian Monroe
[i] Sammy Cahn, “Come Fly with Me” (song lyrics), 1957.
[ii] “Grand Central of the Air. From the ground and from above, its three sweeping cross-vaults extend an air-age welcome to St. Louis. Inside its great room travelers are treated to efficiency and spectacle.” Architectural Forum, May 1956, 106.
[iii] Howard F. Baer, St. Louis to Me, (St. Louis: Hawthorne, 1978), 250-251. The Baers acquired the sculpture for Lambert from the artist in 1961 at the behest of a selection committee that included architect Gyo Obata and Saint Louis Art Museum Director William Eisendrath. Coincidentally, Isabel Baer’s mother Edith Aloe financed Carl Milles’ Meeting of the Waters in front of Union Station, another of St. Louis’s public sculpture gems.
[iv] From an undated list of Bertoia’s expenses in the artist’s archive.
[v] Rolf E. Kuenter of Hellmuth, Yamasaki & Leinweber to Harry Bertoia on November 3, 1955.
[vi] Howard F. Baer, St. Louis to Me, (St. Louis: Hawthorne, 1978), 93.
[vii] Derek Thompson, “How Airline Ticket Prices Fell 50% in 30 Years (and Why Nobody Noticed),” The Atlantic, February 28, 2013.
* Reproduction, including downloading of Henry Moore works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
I first encountered Richard Serra’s public sculpture Twain, in 2006 after I moved to St. Louis. I was exploring the city on foot when I approached the silent and seemingly impenetrable steel
monolith. It felt like the ruins of a post-apocalyptic landscape with marks of a past civilization etched onto the structure’s oxidized metal walls. As I walked through the austere site towards the plaque that identified the piece, I let out an “a-ha” as I read the name of the artist. It began to make sense to me why Serra is frequently criticized for creating imposing and intimidating sculpture in unfriendly environments. Little did I know that eight years later I would be organizing an exhibition of Serra’s drawings related to Twain and culling through archival material only to discover that, back in 2006, I was looking at a shadow of the artist’s original vision for the sculpture’s site.
Serra was awarded his first public commission in the United States by the city of St. Louis in 1974. A full city block was allocated for the commission, just east of the Civil Courts Building on the Gateway Mall. It was an opportunity that attracted the young artist due to its proximity to the groundbreaking design of the Gateway Arch by Eero Saarinen, which was less than 10 years old at the time. Serra thought of his proposed structure—a quadrilateral arrangement of eight steel plates—as the dark horizontal counterpart to the bright vertical arch.
Sculpture in the early 1970s was defined by site-specificity. Artists, like Serra, were more interested in integrating artworks into the surrounding environment than creating free-standing sculptures on pedestals. For the St. Louis commission, he imagined a sculpture within a park-like setting that would draw people in off of the street to spend time exploring inside and around the large structure. The tall steel walls would provide physical refuge from the sights and sounds of traffic when inside the sculpture, while the 2-foot openings between each of the steel plates framed strategic views out towards the surrounding intersections, civic buildings and the Arch.
The St. Louis project proved to be a challenging undertaking for Serra. Nearly a decade passed before final approval was granted for Twain. Evolving ideas about the Gateway Mall slowed the process, as well as public concern. Many in the community were wary of Serra’s design, which was neither commemorative nor ornate in a traditional sense. The sculpture required something new from its viewers: participation and a spirit of curiosity.
Detail of an architectural plan generated by the St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry for the landscaping of “Twain”, 1983, Saint Louis Art Museum Archives
Final approval came at the end of 1981, and shortly thereafter, he began carrying out his plans for the landscaping around the sculpture, which was an integral part of the artwork. Each detail from the plant material to the furniture was hand-selected by Serra. The site was leveled and the eight steel plates were anchored into place. The city block was then re-graded to the original slope of the Missouri Plateau, which subtly falls southeast towards the Mississippi River. Sod provided an instant lawn inside and around the sculpture. No paths were planned except those made by future foot traffic. Serra had no objection to the worn paths eventually being paved, but he did not want to determine how people would navigate the site. 30 high-leafing trees—sycamores, pin oaks, scarlet oaks and red maples—were eventually to rise 80 to 100 feet above the sculpture. The trees were strategically planted around Twain so as not to block the views of the city. 24 Victorian-style benches and a dozen elegant lamp posts were chosen to light the surrounding area. From its current appearance in 2014, it is hard to imagine that Serra intended Twain, with all of its hardness and geometry, to be surrounded by the softness of what he described as an “English-style” landscape.
Serra recognized that it would take at least two years before the trees matured enough to provide shade and character to the site. Sadly, within that two year period between the sculpture’s dedication in 1982 and 1984, 11 of the 30 trees that had been planted died. The grass also became patchy and in need of regular watering; the benches and lamp posts were never installed. An accumulation of graffiti and drainage issues have further diminished its overall appearance. For the past 32 years, the city has been in charge of its maintenance and care, but ongoing budget constraints have left the Serra Park in a state of limbo.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is in possession of an important group of drawings by Serra given by the artist, as well as documents relating to the Twain project, thanks to the Arts and Humanities Council and Emily Rauh Pulitzer. These manipulated photographs and drawings, along with invoices, letters, engineering schematics, architectural drawings, and models tell the story of Serra’s intentions for the city block just east of the courthouse. As one can observe today, the present appearance of Twain and its surroundings are vastly different from what the artist originally conceived. With its proximity to Citygarden, the successful new sculpture park run by the Gateway Foundation, perhaps it is an opportune time for the Serra Park to undergo a revitalization of its own.
Sight Lines: Richard Serra’s Drawings for ‘Twain’ is an exhibition of drawings, photographs and a steel model detailing the extensive planning for Twain. It will be on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum from March 28 through September 7, 2014.
There is a hidden gem of public sculpture just two blocks north of the outstanding offerings at Citygarden and Serra Sculpture Park in downtown St. Louis. Beautifully restored and displayed in the central atrium of the Old Post Office at 815 Olive Street, Daniel Chester French’s Peace and Vigilance (or American at War and Peace) is a link to St. Louis’ cultural and architectural past. With a highly prolific career that includes two of the most recognizable sculptures in American art history, the stalwart champion of the American Revolution the Minute Man (1874) and the iconic statue of the seated President Abraham Lincoln (1920) in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., French stands amongst the most respected names in nineteenth-century American sculpture.
One of three commissions that French accepted for federal buildings in three major American cities (Philadelphia, Boston, and St. Louis) designed in the French Second Empire style by architect Alfred B. Mullett, the St. Louis commission was to be located at the base of the quadrangular dome of St. Louis’ United States Customs House and Post Office, which opened its doors to the public in 1884. With no specification as to subject or theme, French began work on Peace and Vigilance in November 1876, and the half-scale plaster model of the figural group was delivered in April 1878 to the renowned Philadelphia stone carvers William Struthers & Sons, who executed the full-sized composition in marble. Flanking an imposing bald eagle with outstretched wings representing the United States, the allegorical figure of Vigilance to the eagle’s left clutches her respective attribute, the sword, and appears tense and prepared for action as she vigorously scans her surroundings, while Peace on the right loosely grasps her symbol, the olive branch, as she stares dreamily at the street below with her head resting languidly on the back of her hand. The arrangement of the group certainly owes a debt to Michelangelo’s tombs of Giuliano and Lorenzo de’ Medici in the Medici Chapel in Florence, which French no doubt experienced firsthand during the eighteen months he spent working in the studio of the esteemed American sculptor Thomas Ball in Florence between 1874 and 1876.
Weathered by over a century of exposure to the environment before it was brought indoors and replaced by a cement replica in 1990, Peace and Vigilance is now accessible in a way it never was before. Installed just feet away from the viewer and lit by the enormous skylights above, this remarkable statuary group gives one the sense of what it would have been like to float above the streets of St. Louis a century ago, where the larger-than-life expressions of powerful figures surveyed the emerging city’s rising skyline.
Thanks to the websites of the Old Post Office (http://www.oldpostofficestl.com/design_and_construction.php) and Jamaica Plains Historical Society (http://www.jphs.org/people/2005/3/14/the-statues-of-dc-french-from-the-old-boston-post-office-at.html), as well as the highly informative book Sculpture City: St. Louis by former Post-Dispatch art and urban design critic George McCue.
Photo by Bradley Bailey
I was born and raised in St. Louis, where Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch looms large over the city, setting it apart from any other place on earth. Nearing 50 years old, I see the arch as a new kind of monument, one that offers a bold kind of healing power to its presence in the landscape. In 1963, I was in the third grade, and everyone in my class was assigned to write something to put in a time capsule later buried underneath a leg of the arch. I forgot what I wrote, but I take comfort knowing that whatever I penned, it’s safely buried under one of the world’s greatest monuments, a 630-foot stainless steel structure commemorating the 200th birthday of St. Louis, “Gateway to the West.” In fact, I think every third grader in the city participated in the time capsule, making it a truly participatory public art project.
As award winning architect Joan Serrano once said: “There are shapes and proportions and rhythms that feel good to the human body. A lot of them relate to nature… It’s a very universal thing we can all connect with.” The arch has a beauty of balance and harmony. It commands our gaze and rewards it tenfold. From afar, it acts as a beacon, connecting its entire community. Up close, it can’t help but inspire and uplift spirits. Beyond that, it just feels right. I can’t imagine how it could be improved.
Basically, monuments—large or small—seek to remind us of someone or something. But why is the need to commemorate so strong? Throughout history, and in most cultures, the act of commemorating is pervasive. It takes forms that are extremely diverse. It’s safe to say that more time, energy, and money have been spent on memorials and monuments than any other kind of public art. Today, there are hundreds of projects underway from polished bronzes in our nation’s capital to rag-tag shrines alongside our rural highways. From heroes on horses to T-shirts hanging on clotheslines, commemorative public art can help us rethink our past and reconsider the common ground we share. Monuments and memorials can help us face our mortality, address intensely personal emotions, or contemplate complex, global questions. They can offer us solace and help heal wounds.
While the process of producing public monuments can pull people together, it can also tear people apart—it’s not hard to imagine wars being fought over war memorials. But memorials and monuments are not for the dead; they are reminders for the living. They can help us put things in perspective and get on with our lives. In so doing, we need to ask how we want others to remember us, and consider future generations. Indeed, this sort of forward thinking is a powerful—even noble—motivating force for those involved in this often bittersweet field of public art.
As we continue to remind ourselves about our world—what we know of it, what we choose to reflect and what we leave behind—let’s hope that, by the time the time capsule under the arch is opened, someone will acknowledge that we were headed in the right direction.
Jack Becker is founder and executive director of Forecast Public Art, a 35-year-old nonprofit based in Minnesota. This essay was drawn from Becker’s writing for Forecast’s magazine, Public Art Review (www.publicartreview.org).
Photo by Daniel Schwen, Source: Wikimedia Commons
Art historian and critic Rosalyn Deutsche suggests that art makes its own public space, a space that depends on conflict rather than solidarity. Her point of view on public space leads to an art of diversity rather than an art of commonality or majority, an art that maintains an active relationship with the public rather than a passive decoration or affirmation of the status quo.
To develop and support this active, critical public art, we need to reconfirm what the artist does as an artist—and that often is indeed a resistance to, rather than an affirmation, of community or the public program. As art critic and curator Patricia Phillips says, public art should “embrace the multiple conditions of public life—and not the singular view promoted by the sponsor of projects, the public agency, or the private developer.” The art that Deutsch and Phillips discuss is often temporary or performative, such as the projects of Krzysztof Wodiczko or Mierle Ukeles.
The art covered by the International Sculpture Center’s recent book Artists Reclaim the Commons is also frequently performative, sometimes permanent, and sometimes decidedly ephemeral, work by artists such as Amy Young and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. This work is more frequently commissioned by curators or arts organizations (or the artists themselves) than by public agencies, but surely the more official engines of public art are also capable of freeing artists to imagine new ways of being in public and new possibilities for life in a diverse public space. It will certainly take all those involved in public art, working in tandem and with all the traditional and contemporary materials and processes available to them, to constantly and progressively renew the common space where, even if we are looking down at our phones as we walk through it, we live.
PHOTO: Krzysztof Wodiczko, St. Louis Projection, St. Louis Public Library, 2004
Stand at the intersection of Market Street and Jefferson Avenue on the edge of downtown St. Louis, and look around. The black mirror-glass cavalcade of a corporate citadel anchors the northwest corner. Across the street on the other points are two largely unmemorable office buildings and a parking lot.
This landscape could be anywhere in America – nothing about it tells of a particular history. Yet here is where the invisible traces of St. Louis’ largest and most storied African-American neighborhood once came to life. Here is Mill Creek Valley.
When the city started demolishing Mill Creek Valley in 1959, there were 19,700 residents here. On the 79 blocks of the neighborhood were over 5,700 housing units and 839 businesses. Ninety-five percent of the population was African-American. Residents lived in some of the city’s densest-packed blocks of brick and stone town houses, dotted by church spires and corner stores. Scott Joplin and Josephine Baker performed at venues in the neighborhood.
At the heart of Mill Creek Valley, Jefferson and Market, stood the People’s Finance Building, housing a black-owned bank that stood just blocks from the Jefferson Bank and Trust Company from which civil rights demonstrations would echo across the nation in 1963. By the time the white-owned bank integrated its workforce under pressure, the African-American bank was gone. Pruitt-Igoe’s towers further north also were baptized in conflict, in contrast to the stable and traditional neighborhood from which it drew many displaced residents.
Yet Mill Creek Valley had its real problems. The housing was substandard, and reports showed that 80% of dwellings lacked private baths and toilets. Only one-third had running water indoors. The crime rate soared some four times the city’s average. When downtown business interests pushed to blight and clear the area in 1954, Alderman Archie Blaine, representing the residents, supported all of the official efforts.
In 1958, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat called Mill Creek Valley “a growing menace, injurious and inimical to public health and safety and to the morals and welfare of residents of Missouri.” Yet clearance and reconstruction was not utopian. Blaine supported the project thinking that his constituents would get a shining new neighborhood. Most never returned. The new Mill Creek Valley was largely devoted to a new interstate and low-density office and warehouse uses. Great vernacular architecture fell into what today is the city’s most placeless, strange landscape.
No sign or plaque tells anyone that she is occupying Mill Creek Valley. No monument reminds visitors of the thousands of lives that converged here, or reflects upon how the architectural solution here wreaked social havoc through dispersal of the city’s African-American population. Sadly, St. Louis has buried a traumatic episode under a banal cityscape. In Mill Creek Valley, we perpetuate a collective forgetting of sorts that robs future generations of the chance to achieve the splendid enlightenment that comes from confronting discomforting historic truths.
Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 has been organized to examine the role sculpture, past and present, has played in defining our complex urban space. The diverse group of colleagues I have brought together for Sculpture City intend to use St. Louis—nicknamed “Sculpture City”—as a platform to critique past sculptural practice while thinking about how artists are questioning the relevance of these practices in today’s society. Because of the rich artistic fabric in our city, we think St. Louis is the perfect laboratory for the types of discussions partners in Sculpture City will be holding in the coming year.
Laumeier’s contribution to the research activities of Sculpture City will be the exhibition Mound City, opening during the conference “Monument / Anti-Monument”. “Mound City”, another of St. Louis’s nicknames, refers to the mounds left by the Mississippian culture that created Cahokia, North America’s second largest city 1,000 years ago. This show will explore traces of native cultures in contemporary society, and will include new commissions by Sam Durant, Marie Watt and Geoffrey Krawczyk and a performance by A Tribe Called Red, among other projects. We hope Mound City, one of our projects organized under the rubric “archaeology of place”, will highlight how St. Louis holds many of the myths America holds about itself in its sculptural monuments. Only in St. Louis do we have the remnants of a great ancient civilization so close by the modern symbol of manifest destiny.
Across the many platforms of this initiative, we hope to continue pushing the boundaries of understanding our place in history through public sculptural practice.
1. Smithsonian Institution; Bureau Of American Ethnology Bulletin 30, Handbook Of American Indians North Of Mexico, In Two Parts, Part 1; Edited By Frederick Webb Hodge; Washington, Government Printing Office.
2. Photo by Bev Sykes. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
As a component of the Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 initiative, Monument / Anti-Monument was an international conference created to bring together artists, art historians, curators, academics, architects, urban planners, designers, archaeologists and other experts to explore contemporary thinking about the intersection of sculpture and the public realm.
For three days in April, our thought-provoking sessions investigated both traditional and contemporary forms of public sculpture, along with how art reveals cultural identity and the impact of urban planning on monumentation and the politics of public space. In addition to the sessions, conference attendees had the opportunity to explore several institutions including the Saint Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, and the Contemporary Art Museum, along with different excursions around the St. Louis region such as Forest Park, Bellefontaine Cemetery, Northside Workshop, Pruitt-Igoe, the Gateway Arch and Cahokia Mounds.
The conference concluded with an engaging presentation by internationally renowned artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who elaborated on how his interactive installations are the intersection of architecture and performance art.
All of our sessions are now available to view online.
Marilu Knode, Executive Director, Laumeier Sculpture Park
Sam Durant, Artist
Juan William Chávez, Artist
Lenore Metrick-Chen, Associate Professor of Art and Design, Drake University
Miriam Paeslack, Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Arts Management Program at University at Buffalo, SUNY
Anna Schrade, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Hampshire College
Christian Hammes, Senior Lecturer, Freie Universität Berlin
Peter MacKeith, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Architecture, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University
Tracy Campbell, Professor of History & Co-director, Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, University of Kentucky
Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Associate Professor, Yale School of Architecture
Elliot West, Professor, Department of History, University of Arkansas
Dylan Gauthier, Digital Policy and Programming Fellow, Hunter College
Morehshin Allahyari, Artist
Tim Portlock, Artist
Sara Reisman, Director, New York City’s Percent for Art Program
Angela Washko, Artist
Glenn Harper, Editor, Sculpture Magazine, International Sculpture Center
Delaney Martin, Artist, Curator and Director of New Orleans Airlift
Patricia Phillips, Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, Rhode Island School of Design
Dawn Weleski, Artist and Co-director of Conflict Kitchen
Harriet Senie, Director, Museum Studies Program and Professor of Art History, The City College, New York
John Craig Freeman, Professor of New Media, Emerson College
Charlotte Cohen, Fine Arts Officer with the US General Services Administration
Sally Webster, Professor Emerita, Lehman College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
Bradley Bailey, Associate Professor of Art History, St. Louis University
Tamsin Dillon, Director, Art on the Underground
John Hatfield, Executive Director, Socrates Sculpture Park
Erika Doss, Professor, Department of American Studies, University of Notre Dame
Jack Becker, Executive Director, Forecast Public Art + Public Art Review
Conducted by Jessica Baran prior to the conference and his keynote presentation, Antimonuments and Subsculptures
This 14th biennial invitational exhibition will feature
50 artists who create innovative teapots made of clay, metal, glass and fiber. The teapot shape has been investigated by artists for centuries, challenging both the functional and non-functional concept of the form. The teapot exhibition will also be installed in the Charak Gallery.
Our relationship to the sea is the foundation of Joan Hall’s creative works. Plastic is becoming a global problem, polluting our greatest resource-WATER. An experienced sailor, Hall has experienced the vastness and the beauty of the ocean beyond the site of land.
In June 2011, Hall and her studio assistant Danielle Spradley drove an RV to the Gulf of Mexico to document pollution on the coast of Louisiana. This “mobile Studio” allowed her to integrate “field work” into her studio practice. Plastic containers, rope, gloves and other plastic detritus washed up on shore, some as far away as Haiti. This detritus was combined with handmade paper to document, map and freeze the plastic as relics of a specific time. Oily residue coagulated on the shores of Grand Isle creating a black sand that she collected and combined with her paper slurry to make sheets. Two newer installations in the exhibition continue her exploration of the Gulf of Mexico, most recently from a trip to Captiva, FL.
The Gulf Project was funded in part by a research grant from Washington University in St Louis, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts.
Exhibition continues through February 16.
Artist Emily Francisco will discuss her work and new exhibition at the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery. Responding to fragments of information gathered by both chance and deliberate circumstances, Emily’s work utilizes a combination of sculpture, time-based media, and process documentation.
Exhibition continues through February 28.
“I activate FM frequencies with a violin and an antique piano keyboard tuned to trigger systems of stations. These recontextualized objects function as access points to voices and songs competing to be heard. I am not interested in simply exploring noise. I am interested in creating magical moments. Sound invades the body, and everyday we encounter constant clusters of noises and industrial static. I am trying to understand the physical properties of sound. I am interested in disruptions—how they distort the way in which information is received and processed, while also highlighting events.” -Emily Francisco
Exhibition continues through April 20.
Fail-Safe features a range of art forms that are made with seemingly ‘safe’ and comforting materials from everyday life but loaded with incendiary content. Each piece comments on an aspect of discontent, anxiety, and longing in the 21st century from poverty and racism to digital disconnect and the fleeting nature of life itself. Potent in premise, much of the more subtle and formally arresting work offers new points of access for viewers to reconsider the state of our country today as we look toward the future. Marci Rae McDade, Curator
Jaar is delivering the inaugural Bunny and Charles Burson Visiting Lecture as part of the Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series. His video installation, May 1, 2011 (2011) is among those featured in the exhibition In the Aftermath of Trauma: Contemporary Video Installations, on view January 31 through April 20 at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.
Celebrate the opening of Art of Its Own Making which features sculpture, installation, film, video and performance and sound works from the last fifty years by a diverse group of artists, who examine how generative elements outside their control impact the works of art they create.
Exhibition continues through August 20.
“Sight Lines: Richard Serra’s Drawings for Twain” will highlight a series of drawings and manipulated photographs as well as a steel model related to the large-scale sculpture, “Twain”, located on the Gateway Mall in downtown Saint Louis. In 1974, Serra was chosen by a panel of art professionals and civic leaders to create a site-specific work on an open plaza just east of the Civil Courts building. The material that will be on display acts as a record of the extensive planning for Serra’s first public
commission in the United States. “Twain”, occupies one city block and consists of seven 40-foot steel plates and one 50-foot plate that form a quadrilateral arrangement. The narrow openings between the plates act as framing devices for the city beyond, including the Gateway Arch. The drawings in this exhibition investigate the relationship between Twain’s form and its setting—simulating the physical experience of moving in and around the sculpture. Displayed around a steel model, the drawings offer a 360-degree view of the site. The exhibition is curated by Ann-Maree Walker, research assistant in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs.
Exhibition continues through September 7.
Exhibition continues through August 26.
The title Mound City is St. Louis’ appellation in honor of the Mound culture that existed here a thousand years ago. Through Mound City, and other educational and curatorial initiatives, we intend to explore the interrelationship between art, history and nature in our 105 acres and historic gallery spaces. Artists in the exhibition will explore traces of native culture in our contemporary world ranging in topics of disappearance and destruction, resurrection and monument.
Meet at Mississippian House (near the Education Center at the front of the Park)
Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 will provide multiple platforms for
organizations to promote their sculpture-focused exhibitions, events and
resources. The primary focus will be this website, which will provide a single
source to access information about sculpture exhibitions and activities
in the region. We will also develop regular e-blast, Facebook and Twitter
announcements, and a related campaign to drive people to these resources.
To have your event, exhibition or resources listed on the website and promoted through other platforms, please fill out the form. Please submit your program at least two months prior to the scheduled program. Submissions will be accepted through November 2014. Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 will not provide financial support for accepted submissions. All accepted organizations will have their web address listed on the Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 website. Accepted programs are asked to include the Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 logo on their program materials.
CRITERIA AND REVIEW PROCESS:
Arts in Transit
Bellefontaine Cemetery Art and Architecture
City of Clayton
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Tower Grove Park
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
Regional Arts Commission Catalog of Public Art
in St. Louis City and County
Americans for the Arts, Public Art Network
The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Forecast Public Art
International Sculpture Center
Public Art Archive
Public Art Dialogue
SOS! – Save Outdoor Sculpture
Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)
Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 is intended to draw attention to the rich presence sculpture has in the visual landscape of our region. From traditional forms of sculpture—victory and honorary statuary— to abstract modern monuments and a proliferation of temporary “new genre” public art, sculpture has long been part of how St. Louis institutions and organizations have created, and sustained, a sense of regional identity. St. Louis is proud of its nickname “Sculpture City,” and this initiative will bring new ideas to the interpretation and understanding of the works that adorn and define our community.
Marilu Knode, Laumeier Sculpture Park
Meridith McKinley, Via Partnership
Bradley Bailey, Saint Louis University
Susan Barrett, World Chess Hall of Fame
Jack Becker, Public Art Review
Carmon Colangelo, Washington University
Erin Gautsche, International Sculpture Center
Jeff Hughes, Webster University
Johannah Hutchinson, International Sculpture Center
Elizabeth Kurila, Nine Network
Leslie Markle, Washington University
Brea McAnally, Luminary Center for the Arts
Jill McGuire, Regional Arts Commission
Kristen Malone, Kiku Obata & Company
Lisa Melandri, Contemporary Art Museum-St. Louis
Patrick Murphy, Nine Network
Julia Norton, Laumeier Sculpture Park
Kiku Obata, Kiku Obata & Company
Tricia Paik, Saint Louis Art Museum
Dana Turkovic, Laumeier Sculpture Park
Roseann Weiss, Regional Arts Commission
Bradley Bailey, Saint Louis University
Susan Barrett, World Chess Hall of Fame
Jack Becker, Public Art Review
Rachel Cain, Public Art Archive
Marilu Knode, Laumeier Sculpture Park
Kristen Malone, Kiku Obata & Company
Meridith McKinley, Via Partnership
Dana Turkovic, Laumeier Sculpture Park
Roseann Weiss, Regional Arts Commission
Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 is a collaborative program convened by Laumeier Sculpture Park with regional colleagues from within a 100-mile radius of the Gateway Arch that support and promote sculpture in public life.
Your donation to Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014 will go towards supporting a host of activities in 2014, including:
Kiku Obata & Company
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Public Art Archive
Regional Arts Commission
Dwyer Brown and Nancy Reynolds
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University
John and Marian Wuest
Design: Kiku Obata & Company
Development: Studio 2108