Loading
  • Grid
  • List

Collections Model for the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge

Collections Model for the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge

Image Rights
Close
Image
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Rights
Copyright retained by the artist

Copyright

All content including images, text documents, audio, video, and interactive media published on the Walker web site (walkerart.org) is for noncommercial, educational and/or personal use only. Any commercial use or republication is strictly prohibited. Copying, redistribution, or exploitation for personal or corporate gain is not permitted.

To obtain permission, or for information on slides and reproductions, please contact Loren Smith, Assistant Registrar at 612.375.7673 or rights.reproductions@walkerart.org.

Title
Model for the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge
Artist
Siah Armajani
Date
1985
Dimensions
overall 12 × 74 × 4 inches
Materials
wood, paint
Location
Not on view

Object Details

Type
Sculpture (Models)
Accession Number
1986.60
Physical Description
model for bridge
Credit Line
Acquired in connection with the construction of the Sculpture Garden, 1986

artwork entry Siah Armajani, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 1998

Twin Cities-based artist Siah Armajani is known for his pioneering public works, which have helped to redefine the social function of art both in this country and abroad. More than simply art for public spaces, Armajani’s bridges, plazas, and other public art pieces—at once utilitarian and symbolic—are intended to reflect the ideals of a democratic society and to foster discourse and learning in the communities they inhabit.

Armajani explored the bridge as a metaphor for passage in a number of his early conceptual models and works. In 1970, for example, for the exhibition 9 Artists/9 Spaces, he fashioned an 85-foot-long, rough-timbered wooden bridge. Rising quite surprisingly to a gabled peak at its middle, it sheltered a lone pine tree planted beneath. The idea of passage became decidedly more functional with Armajani’s full-scale commission for the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, which allows pedestrians to cross the sixteen lanes of streets and highway that had severed the Garden from neighboring Loring Park for many years. The artist’s design incorporates the three basic types of bridge structure: beam (across its fir-planked, horizontal span), arch (for the eastern portion), and suspension (for the western portion). To underscore the sense of transition from one part to the next, Armajani painted each half a different, atmospheric shade: pale blue for the upward arching portion and yellow, recreated from the hue that Thomas Jefferson used at his home, Monticello, for the inverted arch. Affixed to the upper lintel of the span and running in each direction across the bridge are the words of a poem—a meditation on movement, place, order, and crossing—which Armajani commissioned specially from the renowned American poet John Ashbery.

Jenkins, Janet, ed. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center, 1998, no. 42.

© 1998 Walker Art Center