Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park
Governors State University, Illinois
This site-specific sculpture acknowledges the resonant character of the extensive rural land and water areas that define the campus. It functions in two specific ways: as a framing device that takes in the prairie landscape from two directions and as an independent, two-dimensional composition.
The six ovals that penetrate the solid wall are arranged along two intersecting axes. Three medium-sized ovals are positioned at eye-level and the large and small ovals, placed on the diagonal at higher and lower levels, expand the view to the landscape and sky. Glazed brick in two colors, green and white, directly engages the prime colors present in this landscape during summer and winter and in certain light promotes a merging or camouflage effect. The strict vertical and horizontal pattern of the brick units also serves as an oppositional difference to the organic complexity and texture of the landscape. While this work is fundamentally abstract in the formal sense, and in sync with the material nature and decorative potential of masonry, the banding pattern on one side of the sculpture alludes to rural architecture, such as log cabins, vented grain storage buildings and wood slat siding construction.
The sculpture is eleven feet high (with concrete base), 21 feet long and 14 inches wide and is placed parallel to Alumni Path, the main walking route to campus from the commuter train station.