Stone Sculpture on the Riverbank

“Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.”
― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

I was walking along the strip of concrete along the top of the Mississippi levee that separates the French Quarter from the vast moisture of the Big Muddy. There was the path, a narrow strip of weedy grass, a band of riparian riprap rock used for erosion control and then the water itself.

I noticed a pile of rock in a peculiar arrangement, down right next to the water. At first I thought someone had simply piled them up, but as I looked closer, it seemed that they would not hold together in that formation by themselves. Gravity would pull them asunder. Someone had gone down there with some industrial adhesive or quick-set epoxy and glued the stones together. It was a sculpture, a work of art.

An Internet search failed to reveal any information about this impromptu pile of granite.

Who knows how long they will hold together under the assault of the elements, but if you want to check – it’s right there near the entrance to Jackson Square.

Riverbank Sculpture, Mississippi River, French Quarter, New Orleans

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Seated Woman

“Every so often, a painter has to destroy painting. Cezanne did it, Picasso did it with Cubism. Then Pollock did it. He busted our idea of a picture all to hell. Then there could be new paintings again.”
― Willem De Kooning

Willem de Kooning “Seated Woman”
Nasher Sculpture Center

The Sun In the East Flushed Pale Streaks Of Light

“They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them.”
― Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

Rising Sun Adolph Alexander Weinman American Bronze Houston Museum of Fine Arts

Rising Sun
Adolph Alexander Weinman
American
Bronze
Houston Museum of Fine Arts

The Soft Wind Carried the Moment Away

Over the hill and across the ford and down by the meadow gate
May her days be many, her days be few,
The dream of the maiden will never come true.
For the soft wind carried the moment away,
And the birds they sang, but they would not stay
By the meadow gate.
—-Kate Chopin, By The Meadow Gate, last stanza

By The Meadow Gate

Again In The Meadow James Surls 2002, Steel, Paint Hall Sculpture Garden Dallas, Texas

Again In The Meadow
James Surls
2002, Steel, Paint
Hall Sculpture Garden
Dallas, Texas

Unthinkable Complexity

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding…”
― William Gibson, Neuromancer

One of the nice things about travelling around the… well, around… looking at sculptures is when you find stuff by sculptors you’ve seen before – and especially when you’ve done entries on them.

At the new Hall Sculpture Garden at the side of the new KMPG Plaza Building in the Arts District I found Stainless Internet by George Tobolowsky. His work is scattered around the Metroplex – including two at the Irving Arts Center:
It’s a Slam Dunk
and
Square Deal #2
Take a look at them – compare and contrast.

The Stainless Internet George Tobolowsky 2015, Stainless Steel Hall Sculpture Garden Dallas, Texas

The Stainless Internet
George Tobolowsky
2015, Stainless Steel
Hall Sculpture Garden
Dallas, Texas

The Stainless Internet (Detail) George Tobolowsky 2015, Stainless Steel Hall Sculpture Garden Dallas, Texas

The Stainless Internet (Detail)
George Tobolowsky
2015, Stainless Steel
Hall Sculpture Garden
Dallas, Texas

If You Try And Lose

“If you try and lose then it isn’t your fault. But if you don’t try and we lose, then it’s all your fault.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

Munger & Gaston Streets, Dallas, Texas

Munger & Gaston Streets, Dallas, Texas

I was planning on riding my bicycle down to The Lot to meet Nick for his birthday. At first, I was going to ride the train downtown, then out the Santa Fe Trail, but the people on the train were getting on my last nerve, so I took that as an omen and left the train early, from the underground station at Cityplace. After riding the two extensive escalators to the surface, I had to work my way through East Dallas to the lake. That part of town is a confusing maze of angled streets, and more difficult on a bicycle than a car. You have to avoid some busy streets, some killer hills, and a mistake can put you miles out of your way.

However, I’ve been there a few times recently and was able to find my way without any real problems – with an occasional Googlemaps look on my phone.

I did make a little side trip to the intersection of Gaston & Munger. There’s a sculpture there – on the corner of a redone apartment complex of a man and woman pushing a mirrored sphere. I had seen it before, but never able to stop and get a good look.

My camera was in my pack this time, so I took a quick photo of it. I don’t know anything about its title or sculptor or backstory – but I’ll try to get back and get a better shot.

It’s in an unexpected spot – and looks really cool.

Its Own Existence Whether It’s Noticed Or Not.

My attitude is, I make the sculpture in the studio on my own terms on my own time, and I want to see it go out of the studio and have its own existence whether it’s noticed or not.
—-Tony Cragg

Tony Cragg's "Line of Thought" Dallas, Texas

Tony Cragg’s “Line of Thought”
Dallas, Texas

Ever since I saw his exhibition at the Nasher a few years ago, I have been a fan of Tony Cragg. It was a tough time for me and visiting his sculpture meant something to me – it gave me an ethereal comfort. I think I found it reassuring that independently beauty still existed in the world.

Then I shot his work in the sculpture garden of the Dallas Museum of Art. Earlier this year, I found another work I liked in a museum in Houston.

At any rate, it is one thing to see sculpture in a museum or gallery – in a carefully-prepared setting – it is something entirely different to see sculpture in the wild… especially unexpectedly.

We were riding through Uptown Dallas at night on the monthly Critical Mass Ride, when I spotted a large sculpture out in front of a fancy office building – and it was undoubtedly a Tony Cragg. It was really cool to see, even if I had to keep on pedaling on.

Later, it didn’t take much internet searching to determine that the sculpture was Tony Cragg’s “Line of Thought” out in front of the Rosewood Court Complex. It has been there for a number of years, but I had never noticed it. Of course, that isn’t really my hood….

The weekend of the Uptown Ciclovía, where a street through uptown was closed to automobiles I made a point of finding the Rosewood Court (the Ciclovia route went right by it) and stopped to look and take a photo.

It was cool finding Cragg in the wild.

Tony Cragg's "Line of Thought" Dallas, Texas

Tony Cragg’s “Line of Thought”
Dallas, Texas