Greetings once again and I know it has been a bit of a hiatus. This time I am going to focus on three sculptures of the downtown area that are close to home, as in really close to home (as in the law school is located in the Charlotte Plaza building). I have wondered about these pieces for some time and due to the good folks at Hines who manage the Charlotte Plaza building, I was able to get some basic information, and from there I was able to launch my research.
The first and perhaps my favorite is called Untitled; however, it has been given the unofficial title of Four Seasons. The sculpture is located near the water fountain area where patrons can sit outside to enjoy their lunch. The sculpture is 78 inches tall and 28 inches wide. It is mixed media of chrome steel and what appear to be high fire ceramic panel motifs. An etched steel abstract weather vane tops the obelisk-like object.
The name of the artist attributed to the sculpture is Alice Proctor. You can image what sort of time I had attempting to research such a ubiquitous name. While I did find a number of artists and sculptors of that name, none of them appeared to fit the style or areas of focus as the above piece. Unfortunately, the company that manages the Charlotte Plaza were not able to provide me with additional information. They stated that the sculpture was purchased by the previous building management and they do not know what consideration was used in the selection of the art. Therefore, if any of you that read this have further knowledge, please contact me.
Next is a sculpture that any of you who have dined or walked past the Carolina Ale House on the ground floor of the Charlotte Plaza have seen and perhaps you have wondered, “What the heck is that?”
The above is titled Two Angled Forms. Yes, I know you would think creative people could come up with creative titles as well. Of course labeling art objects untitled is a trend in modern art, as the idea is that a specific title immediately conveys certain predispositions as to how the object was perceived. Therefore, Two Angled Forms, while descriptive, is also neutral enough to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions.
Two Angled forms was created by sculptor James Rosati, a noted artist in this particular style of large abstract sculpture. The sculpture is 16 feet by 20 by 10 made of chrome steel and was commissioned in 1983. Additional information about the work of James Rosati can be found here.
Finally we have Mountain Tango. Now there is a title! This work is on display on the Mall level right beside the Charlotte School of Law Welcome Center. You cannot miss it, as it is right between the parking deck and mall proper. This is the work of Ali Baudoin and is similar in style and presentation to the Rosati work mentioned above. Again, this is made from chrome steel (I am sensing a trend here). The placement of this particular work is a bit unfortunate, as it is not in the best place for viewing. I had quite the time getting a decent enough photograph with the lighting and cramped space it was placed in.
You can learn more about Ali Baudoin by going here.
As you can see, all three of these works, in particular the Rosati and Baudoin pieces, fall into that nebulous area of modern or contemporary monumental art. Often, the terms modern and contemporary are used interchangeably. To be clear, contemporary art is simply art created in our time, which means it can be applied to a vast scope of art objects. I want to focus briefly on the monument part of the description. In fact, many of the works I have covered so far in this series have been monuments of some form or other, and I will branch out more as this series continues. It has been stated in artistic critical thinking that a culture builds monuments when it is robust and thriving. Yet the creation of such declines as a culture and civilization declines. That should offer some succor, regardless if you understand or appreciate these works, that for now western civilization and culture is still thriving. Perhaps that is all that matters where these works are concerned.