Saturday, August 8, 2009


It's quite possible that Serra's Torqued Ellipses are my favorite man-made objects.  The permanent installation of the four of them in their own private wing in Beacon is really a thing of genius.  Together they form a a remarkable unity and even give a sense of progression, beginning at first with a simple hollowed out form, then progressing through a-concentric interiors before ending in a grand spiral.  There's something about the way they manipulate your sense of space and proportion that is like the canyons of Utah or the clear night sky in Colorado, and yet is is all the simple consequence of twisting the top and bottom of an elliptical cylinder.  And given that they are, like, seven gazillion ton sheets of steel, it occurred to me today, sitting slumped and sheltered in the central chamber of the spiral, that they will outlast us all.  Dia will crumble to dust and yet these giant sculptures will sit still amid the carnage, enduring any return to nature, quietly gathering even the post-apocalyptic desert wind.

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