Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Laumeier Sculpture Garden

The girls and I went to Laumeier Sculpture Garden in St Louis.
Some sculptures are just odd.  But entertaining and interesting.

Emily and Katie always take pictures of bits and pieces of things while I usually try to get the whole thing in a shot.
I also have fun taking pictures of them taking pictures.

I really enjoy going to areas like this and I thought the girls would really like it as well. Unfortunately, we were only there a short time before Katie decided she was hot and tired and she wanted to leave.  So we didn't get to see very much of the art at all.

I will be going back on my own at some point. 

Now, let me just add.  I really do enjoy art and sculptures.  I can be impressed with something that looks really odd because I can see the difficulty, depth or the amount of time a piece took to create.  My years in the Fine Arts building at college have helped in many ways.  

Having said that, however, I also remember sitting around with art students who had created something and were trying to invent a deep meaning behind their creation.  I can remember one girl talking about having several drinks trying to loosen up her brain to come up with some symbolism for the piece she had made.  We laughed and laughed about some of the inane ideas the students came up with but they said the teachers ate it up.

Now I'm well aware not all artists do that.  I'm certain there are many who have an idea before they create a work of art and they are trying to express that idea in a physical form.   But I'm just as aware that some people create something really awesome that didn't have a deep meaning to it but someone felt that it needed one.  And if you say you think the "meaning" of the piece is silly (even if the art is cool) you are looked down upon for knowing nothing about art.  

I'm not saying the following items fall into that category.  I'm including the descriptions because some are cool and some are amusing.  You can decide for yourself.

Cosimo Cavallaro, Knots deftly re-spins hardcore industrial material as flimsy pool noodles. The entwined bundle of steel tubes exemplifies his interest in the multi-layered concept of birth, using the form of a giant umbilical cord to symbolize the entanglement of human emotions and to express a sense of confusion and our inability, at times, to resolve feelings or articulate thoughts. Cavallaro’s sculptural linear gesture illustrates his ongoing interest in man’s struggle between need and desire; security and uncertainty.

Lobe’s The Palm at the End of the Parking Lot, 1995, is a battered aluminum-encased walnut trunk that exemplifies his focus on the violence of ‘nature and culture.’ The aura of the sculpture obliterates the formal distinction between nature and technology by imposing a distressed layer of armor plate around the tree’s old contours. The punch marks left by the pneumatic hammer that formed the aluminum become a matrix of penny size scars through which Lobe has preserved and mimicked the tree’s original textural surface. Are technological interventions strong enough to reverse the ravages technology has already visited upon the landscape? Lobe’s answer to this question 
remains enigmatic.

Vito Acconci’s dislocations of familiar things into unlikely contexts jolt the viewer from passive looking to a more questioning state of mind. Face of the Earth #3 rejects the pedestal tradition by putting a jack-o-lantern face into the earth. Instead of looking up at it, the viewer steps down into its eyes, nose, and mouth and can sit in the skull-like cavities. It proposes that a bland, "easy-to-understand,” ingratiating face is what the public says it wants in public art. 

Sugabus’ colossal six tons of bronze arranged into 45 globes resemble a giant balloon sculpture poodle. Sugabus also represents the interlocking elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen found in sucrose. Chambers’ cuddly title, a mingling of “Sugar” and “Cerberus,” transforms the terror evoked by the mythological three-headed guard dog of Hades into a fluffy domesticated pet. Has Chambers made this scary creature into a lovable puffball through the association with a syrupy rush? The metamorphosis stirs together love for pets, elemental craving for sweets and legend into a whimsical alchemy of sculptural forms.


Composed on site in this open clearing in 1980, The Way has long stood as an acting symbol for the park, projecting in all directions like the guns of a giant battleship. This monumental work dominates the field; its scale is, in part, and meant to represent the awe-inspiring impact of classical Greek temples and mammoth Gothic-style cathedrals. The massive crumpled cylinders are welded together and placed to resemble a post and lintel architectural system. With numerous points of tension, this sacred pile of weighted geometry possesses shrine-like properties with humorous undertones, familiar to a failed game of Jenga. Discovered along the northeast coast, the eighteen salvaged steel oil tanks are a towering gateway built in the modernist spirit. Cadmium red was chosen for its symbolic qualities, representing beauty in Russian culture, and as a luminous abstract mixture that unifies all of the constructed parts of this work.  Liberman’s carefully placed industrial columns offer layered symbolism that combines site with compositional elegance and bold enthusiasm of form.

Even the picnic pavilions have a cool artsy look!

I'm definitely going back!!

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