Thursday, March 4, 2010

Simplicity, Complexity, and Helvetica

Simplicity, Complexity, and Helvetica are a winning combination to be sure.

This week I spent four days and nights in Des Moines Iowa. Between the hotel and the job site stood a sculpture park. There were the usual suspects, abstractly carved monoliths of stone, steel I-beams welded into a staggering hulk, and metal bent into a variety of eye pleasing forms. In the middle and surrounded by a berm rose a pile of clean white Helvetica, welded and bolted together into a two story fulfillment of everything I love about art.

I love that it is simple in its monotonality and form, a human figure holding its knees. It doesn't try to persuade us of anything. The warm color temperature of the up-lights on pure white painted letters draw us in during the fading blues of the evening. The idea in itself is simple as well, but is executed with a web of webs and fasteners that must have taken a tremendous amount of craftsmanship and precision.

The artist is one that many local Chicagoans know, as he designed Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. His name is Juame Plensa, the name of the piece (at least the one in spain, his home country) is El alma del Ebro.

It is simple, beautiful, and draws you into the park like a magnet as the sun dips below the horizon.

No comments:

Post a Comment