Public scupture comprised of three rectilinear blocks of stone including two vertical legs and one horizontal top.
Richard Fleischner is internationally recognized for his sculpture and more than 30 installations completed since 1971. He was one of the first artists to work environmentally in the 1970s, using natural materials such as hay, sod, and grass to project universal architectural forms into a variety of natural settings.
In 1978-79 Fleischner designed and built the "Chain Link Maze" for the University of Massachusetts, and the Maze quickly became the destination of choice for students and visitors to the campus. It was so popular that it was damaged beyond repair by overuse, and replacement costs were prohibitive. In consultation with the National Endowment for the Arts, which funded the Maze under the Arts in Public Places Program, the artist and the University Gallery staff decided to retire the maze in 1987.
Fleischner donated "Untitled Modular Block Construction #13" to the University as a replacement for the Maze and chose as its site the formal gardens of Hillside, the Chancellor’s residence. The sculpture is typical of a series of such constructions Fleischner made in the mid-1980s including The La Jolla Project, a major piece for the Stuart Collection at the UC San Diego campus (1982) in which blocks of pink and gray granite are arranged in configurations that refer to an architectural vocabulary: posts, lintels, columns, arches, windows, doorways, and thresholds. The work at Hillside consists of three blocks of white limestone - a lintel and two posts - forming an arrangement like an ancient altar or table. Fleischner’s work is always determined by the topography of a site, and he pays careful attention to proportion, scale, and placement along spatial axes as well as the distinctive ways people move through and around the site. At Hillside the approach to the sculpture is frontal, through a break in two border gardens, and its backdrop is a straight row of evergreens. Approaching the sculpture from a distance, the visitor perceives it as monumental, however closer up it takes on a decidedly human scale.
Among Fleischner’s major projects nearby is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Project, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1980-1985 comprising the plaza quadrangle that unites I.M. Pei’s Weisner Building and Romaldo Giurgola’s Health Sciences and Health Services Building.
public spaces; modular construction; installations
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