Our Blog:




My relationship to the world is 3-dimensional. I navigate with the help of landmarks, actual objects that are real and visible, and without them I would be lost in a flat and meaningless terrain of crisscrossing paths. This need for markers is evidenced in some of humankind’s earliest records of land measurement – “from the large oak to the rock six paces from the river bank.” Unless we wish to spend our lives behind a wheel, relating only to roadways with a GPS as our co-pilot, we should be able to navigate through our nonvirtual world somehow. So, too, my visual memory is based on object location – in something, on something, behind something; space is contained, and things are contained within space, and that’s how my brain solves problems: spatially. My cats won’t jump unless they see an edge, a shape, something to grab onto or land on. I am the same way, looking for the physical object to land on or to grab hold of, but also searching for a greater meaning from  object and environment. I seek an alchemy caused by the confluence of an artful object and its context – the two creating a synchronicity, a new work greater than the individual parts, and producing an inevitability. This spiritual pairing of container and contained can sometimes occur in the realm of functional design, i.e., in architecture or landscape (see arslocii); but, when it works to best effect it is in the realm of art. Sculpture’s power, by its very nature, exists for its own purpose, and asserts a personal, unknowable creative urge – that of the individual. This given “loaded” expression, in combination with a corresponding sensitivity to place, is what I am attempting to understand, and in the magnified power that can result from the relationship of the two. The focus of Sculpturehead is to explore this unique art form: sculpture in situ.

The reason I started thinking about this synergy between art and site was based on my first visit in 1986 to Storm King Sculpture Park. I had certainly seen plenty of art placed in city plazas, but this was my first nonurban setting with sculpture (although, shortly before then, I had peered over the fence at a collection owned by Philip and Muriel Berman, in Allentown, PA, but that seemed just “arranged”). The artist David Smith is credited with generating the concept of a “sculpture farm” by displaying his work throughout his Bolton Landing property in the early 1960s. In fact, Storm King states that its founder was inspired sufficiently by Smith’s work at his farm to take the original vision for the art center – as a museum for Hudson Valley painters – and move it in a totally different direction. And what a wonderful result it is. I returned to double-check that claim in 2009, only to find Storm King better in its focus on art placement now than as I had remembered it.

The wake-up call was the park. After graduate school, in which my tunnel-vision focus was entirely on my own art and work by other artists that I could view in galleries, I was still stuck in the mindset of “visual display.” It was ten more years before I thought about the context again on an equal footing, maybe during the year I spent in landscape-architecture school. At the same time, in my own artwork, contextual relationships within the pieces themselves were making inroads into my consciousness (see What You Bump Into). Now, in a larger sense, this focus on context has become a quest to find examples of what I seek and to try to understand them: to locate and discuss that unity and equality of object and place. And, once you start to find the powerful examples, there is no turning back – nothing else satisfies. The search is on, mainly at sculpture parks and visits to site-specific works, but sometimes there is just a perfect, unexpected symbiotic pairing that qualifies, too. Storm King started this, but I’m going to finish it.

In Sculpturehead, the quest begins in earnest, as I try to explore and come to terms with the desired effect of the inevitability and irrevocability of art in site and its resultant enhanced and elevated meaning and power.


Seeking the Relationship: Art to Site

Left: Geometric Mouse, by Claes Oldenburg, Hirshhorn Museum Plaza, Washington, DC

Center: Roof, by Andy Goldsworthy, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Right: Tree Hugger, a tree house by Re:Vision Architects, Tyler Arboretum,  Media, PA


Sculpturehead, n. a made up word that combines the idea of a created 3-dimensional work and its ’hood, or surrounding. (Etymology: -hed -hood; akin  to Middle English -hod -hood)

The concept is to put forth a new form of enhanced expression that goes beyond either the single object or its setting and creates a shared synergy that is inseparable.

It also suggests that I am a sculpture freak; anything and everything that is 3-D is what interests me.