Black Sun by Isamu Noguchi (1969).
I've always loved Isamu Noguchi's designs - both furniture, sculpture and gardens. In front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum there is an excellent example of his work: the Black Sun from 1969. I love the heavy, flowing, organic form, contained within the eternity of the circle. And the little "bottom" seen at the right side of the circle (or maybe it isn't, but that's how I see it), it just adds a touch of surprise and wit to the massive sculpture.
Displaying sculpture outdoors gives it an extra dimension. It seems that both the viewer and the work (sculpture, that is) can breath more freely when placed in open air. Or just as Tina writes on her blog The Garden Design Chronicle:
"More often than not I find sculpture soothing. I’m not really sure why this is. I like the interaction the artworks have with the surrounding environment something that you really do not obtain in a gallery. There is no interaction. They are merely objects in space, demanding your full attention. Perhaps I like the fact that the outdoors reduces the artworks demands on you. I feel free to take them in or not. I feel free to eat a sandwich, read a book, close my eyes. None of which I can do in a gallery. A sculpture garden allows me to be human."
The view towards downtown Seattle makes a dramatic background to the Black Sun. I just wonder how it would look like on a more serene site, with lots of lush green around and waves of the sea quietly lapping behind it...? Anyway, The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, N.Y. is high up on my "what to do during the U.S. years" list! (the sculpture garden is being renovated and will re-open in November 2008).
The Seattle Asian Art Museum seen throught the Black Sun.