Wednesday, March 18, 2015


On a small corner plaza across from City Hall, and amid soaring high rises, "Clothspin" by Claes Oldenburg sweeps upward from the busy streets.

The stylized object brings different reactions from viewers, such as the passerby who commented soon after its installation that "Center Square needs some humor."


While flying over Chicago, Oldenburg noticed a "similarity" between the building below and a clothespin he was playing with. Driving near center city a couple of days ago, I was struck by the affinity in form between the sculpture and the modern skyscrapers.

While clothespin is apparently an everyday item, it is also suggestive of two bodies embracing, and Oldenburg himself compared the sculpture to Constantin Brancusi's "The Kiss" in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Kiss - Constantin Brancusi

Clothespin - detail
The great thing about this public art is that it is available to everyone, and can bring wide and varied reactions - positive, negative, humorous, imaginative, delight, scorn, pleasure, outrage.

For example, across the street from Clothespin is "The Triune" (see post Triune post in February). Apparently, a lot of people compare it to a pretzel. I see playing dolphins, or a diving whale ... sometimes. Other times it strikes me as an allegory juxaposing the complexity of city bureaucracy (ornate City Hall) with the simple sweeping lines always in motion ....

The Triune

Friday, March 13, 2015

Juxtaposed Conflictions

Above it All

George Orwell 1984
Old and New (Ornate and Stark)

Monochromatic Love

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Atmosphere and Environment XII

Atmosphere and Environment XII (1970) - Louise Nevelson
West entrance, Philadelphia Museum of Art

"the entire openwork composition seems to echo the severe landscape of a modern city" - from the website of the Association for Public Art

That "severe landscape" is evident as I wander center city streets, and is sure to appear in my images often.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Aero Memorial

Aero Memorial
Aero Memorial (1948) - Paul Manship - Logan Square, 20th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The memorial is dedicated to the aviators who died in World War II. It was proposed in 1917, but sufficient funds were not available until 1939 when Manship  contacted and commissioned. Located opposite the main entrance to the Franklin Institute, the bronze sphere illustrates signs of the zodiac.

Aero Memorial (Frankling Institute in background)
Aero Memorial - detail

Aero Memorial