Sunday, May 18, 2014

Grounds For Sculpture

Today, I planned on heading to the Grounds For Sculpture for some spring photography. Unfortunately, about half of New Jersey seemed to have the same idea; however, the area surrounding the Grounds have been turned into their own sculpture garden of a sort, including works by Seward Johnson, who founded the Grounds more than two decades ago. As I discovered, Johnson's work is similar to that of Jeff Koons, each artist creates larger than life sculptures using familiar iconography as their focal point. 

Situated at the intersection of Klockner Road and Sloan Avenue right across from the New Jersey Transit station in Hamilton, this homage to Grant Wood's American Gothic rises 25 feet in the air. The first image addresses the sculpture from the front, while the second was taken from the side and beyond, using the good cloud cover today as an arresting backdrop. 

Andrej (Andrew) Pitynski - The Partisans 

A little further down Klockner Road is what I later discovered to be a controversial work entitled "The Partisans" by the Polish sculptor Andrej Pitynski. The sculpture depicts Polish soldiers during World War II, but without knowing that ahead of time, I thought these could have been soldiers from any war. 

Another Pitynski can be found on East State Road on the way to the Grounds For Sculpture. Unfortunately, it's behind chain-linked fence, so getting a good picture (without a ladder) is a challenge. 

Next up is an unusual sculpture by Garret McFann of what appear to be four Mexican "banditos," but with flat tops instead of heads. Not sure what to make of this one.

Seward Johnson - Los Mariachis 
Seward Johnson - A Turn of the Century
Seward Johnson - Whispering Close
Seward Johnson - Time For Fun

My last stop was along a patch of grass right in front of the NJT Station, where Johnson had a massive installment of five sculptures depicting couples dancing amid the traditional mariachi players of Mexico. The juxtaposition was interesting, considering the couples were all dressed in attire more closely associated with the 19th century (I learned in researching that they are modeled after paintings by Renoir). Again, the cloud cover today offered an interesting contrast and strategic use of black and white also added to the effect.

Next time, I'll get to the Sculpture Garden earlier, but I'm glad I took the trip and got these amazing photos. 

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