Page 29

of Mezes Hall and Batts Hall, but also to the prominent bronze figural sculpture of a Confederate statesman at the edge of the South Mall. A profound blend of aggression and subtlety that results from the combination of the artwork and its installation in a relatively hidden site. Folly

Another of the more interesting sculptural sitings is that of Donald Lipski’s The West, which sits directly on the axis of the East Mall like a pebble in a stream, defiant of the pedestrian flow. Thus, though the piece is not huge in scale, it commands a large presence, and without obvious meaning or function on the mall, it can be seen as a folly. Lipski, a conceptual artist, is more interested in generating reactions from viewers rather than achieving a particular aesthetic. Because Lipski uses found objects not merely for their visual attributes but more importantly for associations the viewers might make in response to them, his sculptures invite speculation. The West consists of two spherical buoys, each measuring five feet in diameter. Such buoys mark deepwater shipping channels and often indicate where large commercial and military ships may anchor offshore. Their normal place is floating on open bodies of water, as Lipski obtained the buoys from the Seattle harbor. Now situated on dry land, the buoys are no longer functional, like fish out of water. Corroded pennies dot the surface of each of the large painted steel balls, perhaps as a commentary on capitalism and the arbitrary nature of currency. Without revealing his full meaning, the artist provokes speculation rather than making a singular statement.

Confrontation

The sculptures of Louise Bourgeois deal with intimate and visceral objects, many derived from her personal experiences. That makes for a certain contradiction with the installation of Eyes in the lobby of the Bass Concert Hall, where it receives an intense amount of exposure during performances. In any context, but particularly at the entry of a large public space, this piece evokes confrontation as it appears to stare down visitors entering the lobby. Like an architect, Bourgeois wrestled with materiality and intent. Though she began as a painter, she worked with a myriad of media throughout her career. Bourgeois began to work with sculpture in the 1960s, and after her visit to the quarries at Pietrasanta, Italy, in 1967, she began to work in marble, though not exclusively. Part of the intrigue of Eyes is the contradictory representation of anthropomorphic and visceral

Above “Eyes”

(1982) by Louise Bourgeois: Marble, 74-3/4 × 54 × 45-3/4 inches. Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art; anonymous gift, 1986 Left “The West” (1987) Donald Lipski: Painted steel, corroded copper pennies, and silicone adhesive; each sphere 60 inches in diameter. Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Louis and Bessie Adler Foundation, Inc. (Seymour M. Klein, president); 1988

3/4 2012

Texas Architect 27

Texas Architect March/April 2012: Destinations  

Destinations represent different points of arrival, whether a temporary stopping place during a student’s busy day on campus or destinations...

Texas Architect March/April 2012: Destinations  

Destinations represent different points of arrival, whether a temporary stopping place during a student’s busy day on campus or destinations...