University of Minnesota

Minnesota Suite

Philip Rickey

Philip Rickey (born 1959, New Orleans, LA)

Minnesota Suite: Spatial Choreography in Four Movements, 2012

Columnar basalt (45 pieces)

2 ft. to 9 ft. h X 500 ft. long

Location: Outside the Wallin Medical Biosciences Building, east bank campus

My concept was influenced by the theme given to me with the commission; the work was to articulate, “movement and change” which is the overriding theme for the district artwork. I set out to create a compelling work that physically embraces these abstract ideas.

From my initial visits to the site and after looking at the plan, I decided that the most useful form language to refer to was the symphonic or sonata form in music or the episodic sequence of kinetic form and music in many dance compositions. The landscape and architectural design of the Biomedical Discovery District supported this initial impression by the strong rhythmic pavement divisions that are emphasized in the planting beds and carried from the building edge to street curb. These visual motifs move through the site in two axis, marching from west to east through these increments, and divides the longitudinal space in unequal thirds through the linear planters, rows of trees and the pedestrian and bike paths running the length of the street.

This visual and spatial experience is kinetic, especially when moving between the two aisles of tall columns and looking past and through them at the views beyond. The light is reflected by the polished surface and affords unexpected mirrored images and interesting broken vistas. The bicyclists, too, see something unexpected when moving by this ensemble. This whole work, comprised of the four movements, is an abstract, visual and physical orchestration over a long and deep site.

My sculptural ensembles move back and forth from west to east and north to south forming the whole composition that converses, reflects and animates the various textured plant compositions, both above eye level in the canopy and in the understory, forming a dense and multilayered experience for visitors.

Installations Near By

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