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Rubber, steel, or the art of stuff

I was riding so fast, it just clicked at the corner of my eye, like a flash. Hang on! What was that? At the next traffic light, I stopped and turned around: giant piles of rubber mats were standing on the front of the square, folded and settled in such a way that the edge drew frozen waves exposed to the street. I had to look it up! My wonder was that I wasn’t sure: is this ‘event’ the unexpected beauty of a pile of construction site scraps; or a man-made art piece, purposely using reclaimed material to make a statement about our consideration of waste? After a turn around, I soon had the answer:IMG_4886IMG_4885IMG_4887IMG_4882

IMG_4884If you want to see this sculpture, it is installed in the Sara D. Roosevelt Park in New York, along E Houston St.

I then saw the sculpture below in a Museum. Here there was no doubt about the arty purpose but it immediately made me think of the rubber piles, my questioning, and more generally how we look at and consider raw materials.


Untitled (Version 1 in 19 Parts), by Robert Morris, 1968, reworked in 2002

Architects are often inspired by material. Its color, texture, transformation over time, the way it naturally bends or folds, can become the concept of a facade, the baseline of a project. Many artists have deliberately played with materials, exploring their capabilities and limits. Richard Serra is one of these artists. He made many pieces with gigantic steel plates. Below are the ones I was too excited to explore at the Dia Museum in Beacon.IMG_6532 IMG_6534 IMG_6535 IMG_6537

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