By Jerry Williams, Volunteer Docent at Grounds For Sculpture
Hello again. Today we’ll chat a bit about those pieces that appear to be part of Sculpture On The Way, but are actually not part of The Sculpture Foundation’s program. Along Sloan Avenue, in front of the NJ Transit train station and behind Fisher Stolz’s Sphere of Influence is Transit by Clyde Lynds. This installation is part of the public art program required of all new government construction in New Jersey. It was installed when the train station was built. Transit is a stainless steel sphere perched on an inverted pyramid over a tapered white column. Within the sphere is a mirror designed to rotate at night, reflecting a xenon light housed in the white pylon. When first installed, Transit’s light did indeed pierce the night with its beam. However, it was deemed to be a hazard to planes approaching the airspace of nearby Trenton-Mercer Airport and no longer shines at night.
For those of you who have been to the State House Complex in Trenton in the past ten years or so, Clyde Lynds is the artist who also created Confluence, the large pillared fountain adjoining an engraved map of Trenton as it was in post Revolutionary Way days, and the low wall containing the engraved names of every municipality in New Jersey.
Over on East State Street Extension, just past Ghat by Harry Gordon, is the site of Princetel, a business specializing in fiber optic communications. The owner of this business is an art aficionado and had two pieces commissioned for his property. On one side of the property is an unnamed piece by John Clement of Firehouse Studios in Brooklyn. The artist says that the curvilinear shapes draw the viewer into its space, offering inviting places to sit, lean, or even stand on.
On the other side of the Princetel property is a piece designed by the company’s owner. It is based on Matisse’s The Fall of Icarus. You may recall that in our last episode, we discussed Alexander Liberman’s Daedalus, and that Daedalus was a Greek architect and inventor who designed and built the wings that Icarus infamously flew into the sun. These two pieces are about one hundred yards from each other.
Sculpture On The Way was originally intended to be the catalyst for property owners in the area to add sculptures of their own. The placement of this version of The Fall of Icarus so close to Daedalus is a marvelous realization of the original dream.
Over on Sculptors Way, just across from the road to Rat’s Restaurant is Seward Johnson’s Mr. Rat. He is holding a cane perpendicular to his body seemingly pointing the way to Rat’s. For a brief time there was a banner hanging from the cane with the Rat’s Restaurant logo on it. This piece is not part of Sculpture On The Way but, rather, a directional marker for the restaurant.
As of now, that’s all the pieces along the way not officially part of Sculpture On The Way. In our next episode we’ll finish up on the Sculpture On The Way pieces. We’ll close this series with a chat about why I undertook this project with a story or two about the process of photographing public art. I hope you’ll join me again.
All photographs courtesy the author.