Thursday, August 22, 2013


Reflections, 1986
Joseph A. Burlini
Aon Center Plaza
200 East Randolph Street

            After receiving a degree in industrial design from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1960, Joseph A. Burlini spent six years designing toys and other products for Sears Roebuck and Company. During that time, he began experimenting with a blowtorch as a tool for sculpture and eventually devoted himself to making art and teaching sculpture part-time at the Illinois Institute of Technology. During a fifteen-year stretch that he calls his “gallery years,” he produced polished bronze works like Reflections, composed of two sinuous snake-like forms nestled within a raised landscaped platform, as well as “kinetic do-nothing machines,” such as Rainbow Machine, a work of four steel poles with swiveling flat “arms” that move in the breeze located on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee. A long-time resident of Arlington Heights, many of his works are on permanent display at the village’s public library, including an 18-foot mobile over the entrance and mechanical circus wagons in the children’s section.

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