City Hall Park in New York City is often home to public art exhibits. The current installment is Sol LeWitt's Structures.
LeWitt is the American artist often credited with creating minimalism and conceptualism. He is known for his sculptures—which he described as "structures." The installation shares a collection that spans his own transition as an artist. Largely geometrical in form, Lewitt's structures seem to strip the building blocks of civilization to their core. In the simplicity of a cube, for example, we see a building block from which whole cities can spring. As more complex shapes begin to emerge, introducing curves and seemingly abstract formations, we can see shifts in our own design sensibilities.
It's not as hard a stretch as one might think. Because the exhibit is housed in City Hall Park, there is an interesting mix between the City and art and a chance to see the City as art.
Here are a few of the pieces that have been reproduced for display:
Three X Four X Three (1984) becomes a delightful mathematical exercise as the structure morphs into new shapes as blocks are added and removed depending on how it is viewed.
Pyramid (Munster) (1987), was originally installed in a botanical garden in Munster, Germany as part of a art show.
Complex Form 6 (1987) represents an early exploration for Lewitt in irregularities. The piece originates from the shaping of a two dimensional polygon marked by dots at various locations. The form emerges as a three dimensional piece, whose height and shape are guided by the placement of those dots.
Splotch 15 (2005) is a sharp contrast to the white geometrical shapes that litter City Hall Park, but it is a continuation of Lewitt's work begun in the 1980s with pieces like Complex Shapes (above). This piece was created using three dimensional computer modeling software.
You can view additional pieces of the exhibit on the AiP fan page—or visit! The exhibit runs through Dec. 2, 2011.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Krystal D'Costa is an anthropologist working in digital media in New York City. You can follow AiP on Facebook.