Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Truncated Pyramid


Truncated Pyramid, 1989
Jene Highstein
University of Chicago
Smart Museum of Art 
5550 South Greenwood Avenue

            One of two works by Jene Highstein (born 1942) on the campus of the University of Chicago, Truncated Pyramid demonstrates Highstein’s shift to a reductive approach, carving at the pink striated marble to create an intricate and dynamic surface texture. For his earlier Black Sphere, near the Brain Research Institute, Highstein employed an additive technique, starting with an armature and successful layers of cement until a six-foot, four-inch tall sphere was created. Both of these works reveal the presence of the artist with their irregular forms and sensual surfaces.
            This work was a gift to the University from the Smart Family Foundation in memory of Dana Feitler, who was a graduate student at the University of Chicago when she was brutally attacked and shot on July 18, 1989 near her Gold Coast apartment. Her parents, Robert and Joan Feitler, played a pivotal role in establishing the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, which is named in honor of Joan Feitler’s uncles, the founders of Esquire magazine.

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