EYE ON ART: Cal State Long Beach Sculptures
May 25, 2019
By Nancy Berkoff
In 1965, a Cal State Long Beach professor teamed up with an Israeli artist to organize a symposium that paired artists with industry to create a series of monumental pieces that would reside on the university's campus.
Nine artists participated, producing massive abstract pieces made from concrete, earth and steel. The California International Sculpture Symposium was co-organized by CSULB sculpture professor Kenneth Glenn and Israeli artist Kosso Eloul, best known for producing the eternal-flame sculpture at the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel. It was part of an international series of symposiums launched in Europe in 1959, and was the first held in the U.S.
Canadian sculptor Robert Murray teamed up with the Bethlehem Steel plant in San Pedro to produce an arrangement of steel panels, Duet (Homage to David Smith), that pay tribute to Abstract Expressionist sculptor David Smith. Over time, the piece suffered damage, as the epoxy paints that Murray used, high tech for the 1960s, could not stand up to outdoor light. Originally a playful, peachy orange, the sculpture grew darker over the years as subsequent paint jobs attempted to correct problems with fading. In 2015, to mark the 50th anniversary of the sculpture symposium, CSULB teamed up with the Getty Conservation Institute to survey and help conserve the collection. Murray’s Duet can now be seen in its original glory.
Internationally-known artist Claire Falkenstein made “‘U’ as a Set,” the structure outside the McIntosh Humanities building, out of 6,000 pieces of copper tubing. Falkenstein’s work can also be viewed at the Long Beach Museum of Art's outdoor campus. LBMA’s café, Claire’s, pays homage to the artist.
To prepare for a CSULB sculpture stroll, review a YouTube guide of the sculptures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuHpBM0q9Qc or a map of the sculpture locationgo to :https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PeTMRyo-AgVu2e_gglVIyHKtaYn3l3Kf/view
To go on a guided tour of the CSULB outdoor sculpture collection from 9:30 to 11 a.m. June 4, go to http://architecture.lbhomeliving.com/calendar/, as part of Long Beach Architecture Week. Tickets are $20, with all proceeds benefitting Long Beach Heritage The campus tour will be led by Sarah Locke, executive director of Long Beach Heritage and Chris Alegria, curator of education, University Art Museum, CSULB.
The CSULB Sculpture Garden can be viewed during daytime hours seven days a week, is free and open to the public, and situated throughout the 320?acre campus. The campus is at 1250 Bellflower Blvd. There are multiple pay-for-parking lots throughout the campus. Visit csulb.edu/explore/museum for more information.