Travel Theme: Tangle
Huge, imposing, gritty. A tangle of steel I-beams.
Clock Knot by Mark di Suvero stands watch over the engineering students at the University of Texas at Austin. It is one of my favorite pieces in the Landmarks Public Art collection and a highlight of the campus bike tours I led in collaboration with Landmarks.
This week’s Travel Theme by Where’s My Backpack is Tangle. I was browsing my photos to find depictions of tangles and once I came upon the metal tangle that is Clock Knot I knew I had my theme. Large scale sculptures of steel and wood by Mark di Suvero can be found in public art collections and museums around the world. Some include moving parts that are not always obvious upon first glance.
Here are just a few that I’ve come upon in my travels in the States.
Located next to Denver’s downtown library is Lao-Tzu. Placed between a building designed by Michael Graves and an oversized broom and dustpan called The Big Sweep by Claes Oldenburg, the bright orange tangle is at home in the whimsical Acoma Plaza.
On Venice Beach, the natural rusty patina of Declaration is slowly being grayed over by graffiti mitigation efforts. Even though it is surrounded by beautiful palm trees and sand, on some days the piece can feel worn around the edges just like Venice Beach itself.
In Washington, DC viewing Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Puellae with it’s stark headless figures as the foreground imparts a heft and somberness to di Suvero’s Aurora in the background. Viewed on it’s own, Aurora explodes out into a more expansive space.
The di Suvero tangle called Gandydancer at the Getty Center in Los Angeles is small, concentrated and found amongst the shrubs in the sculpture garden.
Kansas City is tangled up like a whirling dervish by the relatively simple Rumi.
The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has three works by di Suvero in their collection. Even the shadows cast by Eviva Amore are a tangle.
Protected by a thin piece of wire, visitors are no longer allowed to put the For W.B. Yeats in motion.
Everything has to be bigger in Texas so if you look up to view Proverb, you’ll see a tangle in the sky that actually moves like a metronome.
Coming full circle to the first di Suvero I encountered in my hometown of Minneapolis, Arikidea in the Walker Sculpture Garden has always been a favorite place for the locals to go for a spin. Conceding to the reality of public rough housing, the wood platform has been tethered to the ground limiting it’s range of swinging motion.
The final tangle at the Walker, Molecule, is once again the bright orange and like a lanky, stretching cat, each limb extends out and reaches individually for the sky.