My Curves Are Not Mad

The vertical is in my spirit. It helps me to define precisely the direction of lines, and in quick sketches I never indicate a curve, that of a branch in landscape for example, without being aware of its relationship to the vertical.
My curves are not mad.

La verticale est dans mon esprit. Elle m’aide à préciser la direction des lignes, et dans mes dessins rapides je n’indique pas une courbe, par exemple, celle d’une branche dans un paysage, sans avoir conscience de son rapport avec la verticale.
Mes courbes ne sont pas folles.

—-Henri Matisse from Jazz

Boy looking at his shadow on Richard Serra's My Curves Are Not Mad - Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

Boy looking at his shadow on Richard Serra’s My Curves Are Not Mad – Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

Walking around Nasher garden, I spotted this child walking up to Richard Serra’s massive Cor-Ten walk-through sculpture, My Curves Are Not Mad – he stopped and stared at his shadow on the steel. I barely had time to raise my camera and squeeze off this shot.

Earlier in the day, we had listened to a discussion of public art and the way it relates to the current Nasher Xchange exhibition that is taking place in various public locations all over the city of Dallas. A lot of the discussion touched on the controversy over Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc and how the public’s attitude toward public sculpture has changed in the time since that disaster. It was a very interesting discussion.

Everybody seems to like My Curves Are Not Mad – but then again, it wasn’t installed by the government.

And certainly the history of public sculpture has been disastrous but that doesn’t mean it ought not to continue and the only way it even has a chance to continue is if the work gets out into the public.
—-Richard Serra