Quatrain

Photographed by: Jillian Proscia

Photographed by: Jillian Proscia

 

Edward Haugevik (American, born 1951) and Linda Spirit (born 1951),
Quatrain, 1986
Stainless steel
Location: SUNY-Broome, In between Business and Wales buildings
Quatrain was commissioned by SUNY Broome Community College to commemorate its fortieth anniversary.

“Quatrain” literally means a kind of rhymed verse consisting of four lines. Much like a poem whose lines lock together to form a whole, the smooth welds of the sculpture suggests four separate but organically united parts. Further, the zigzag form of the work corresponds to the most traditional and common of quatrain rhyming schemes, that of “ABAB” (in which the last words of both the first and third lines and the second and fourth lines rhyme)

The sculpture is made of hollow stainless steel; stainless steel is highly functional for public sculpture, given its durability. The steel here was forged and then polished with a grinder, endowing the sculpture’s steel a smooth surface with a type of brushed, all over patterning. As the patterning catches the sunlight, it reflects and refracts it, giving the work a sense of motion and visual appeal. A similar approach to brushed stainless steel was employed by the famous modernist sculptor David Smith in the 1960s and the kinetic sculptor George Ricky beginning in the 1970s.

Quatrain was a collaboration between artists Edward Haugevik and Linda Spirit, who both have worked with steel throughout their careers. The commission for this piece arose when a trustee of SUNY Broome saw a solo exhibition of Haugevik’s work at a gallery in New York.

With Quatrain, the sculptors created a work appropriate to a collegiate setting:the structure stretches toward the sky, much as the college offers a place for students to fulfill their potential by reaching for new heights of achievement. The work’s base and joints were deliberately de-emphasized in order to give the sculpture a sense of growing directly out of the earth, akin to the organic process of education. The upper end, which points toward the sky, offers a strong image of hope.

Researched by: HanXiao Bao

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