(AMERICAN, BORN 1942)
Triangular Bridge Over Water, 1990
reflective laminated glass, anodized aluminum, painted steel, concrete
84 x 192 x 120 inches
Laumeier Sculpture Park Commission, with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts
Dan Graham's Triangular Bridge Over Water, 1990, functions both as a primer for historical covered bridge construction and as a conceptual membrane for refracting space and time. Like a futuristic version of The Bridges of Madison County, as if designed by Albert Einstein, the two-way mirror panels attached to a steel truss reflect and absorb the exterior public space. This arrangement counter-intuitively creates an interior private experience where the self, bridge and woods are simultaneously reflected. The fixed dimensions of the structure are warped by the speed of the viewer who crosses the bridge; what you see is continually altered by the act of seeing. By landing this space-age architectural form in a leafy bower, Graham illustrates a theory of perception by unifying the relationship between the designed elements of his sculpture and the whole of a visual experience. Using a grid pattern with encased cinematic views, this work enhances the artificial nature of the Arcadian landscape.
Triangular Bridge Over Water is part of Laumeier’s Ten Sites program, 1980–90. Ten Sites was a unique program that brought ten artists together with tradespeople from St. Louis County Parks for creative collaboration.
Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Walk, But Do Not Climb
Dan Graham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1942. A pioneer in performance and video art in the 1970's, he later turned his attention to architectural projects designed for social interaction in public spaces. Graham’s work explores the psychological effect architecture has on us. In addition, he has published a substantial body of critical and speculative writing on art and perception. Graham has had retrospective exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Renaissance Society, University of Illinois, Chicago; Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; and Modern Art Oxford, United Kingdom. He participated in Documenta V (1972), VI (1977), VII (1982), IX (1992) and X (1997). In 2001, a major retrospective, Dan Graham, Works 1965–2000, traveled to Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal; ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands; and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.