East Gate/West Gate by Sasson Soffer

TITLE: East Gate/West Gate
ARTIST: Sasson Soffer
DATE: 1973
MATERIALS: stainless steel
DIMENSIONS: 23′ x 30′ x 17′
TYPE: sculpture

Sasson Soffer’s East Gate/West Gate (1973) acts as a fulcrum for one of the main courtyards on the IUPUI Campus, its ceaseless swirling loops amplifying the dynamism of campus life.

Although it may appear at first as one entangled unit, follow the lines from any point on the stainless steel piping to discover a pair of figures locked in a kind of dance, repartee, or conversation.

Gates normally exist to grant or bar entrance to a place, announcing and policing boundaries. East Gate/West Gate is situated well inside the bounds of the university, however, paying no heed to traditional border markings. Instead, East and West are infused. Access points are not singular or static, but multiple and dynamic.

How might this piece help us re-imagine borders in more dynamic ways?

Soffer (1926-2009) was an Iraqi-American abstract painter and sculptor of Jewish heritage who studied under the artist Mark Rothko in New York. (If you are an admirer of the work of Paul Klee or Joan Miró, see if you can spot their influence on this piece.)

On loan from Newfields, the sculpture was delivered, via helicopter, in 2009.

To learn more about this artwork, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Gate/West_Gate,  which includes information created by Herron School of Art and Design and IUPUI Museum Studies faculty and students in 2009 as part of “A Survey of IUPUI Public Art.”