Spaces with Iron by Will Horwitt

Spaces with Iron by Will Horwitt

TITLE: Spaces with Iron
ARTIST: Will Horwitt
DATE: 1972
MATERIALS: cast iron, bronze
DIMENSIONS: 4’6″ x 7′ x 5’9″
TYPE: sculpture

As children we are alert to shapes, volume, and mass—arranging and rearranging things in an attempt to test the order of things. As we grow up, we tend to lose some of this drive to question the world—falling into routines and patterns, and taking things for granted.

Composed of one cast iron rectangle, one bronze rectangle, a pair of bronze elongated blocks, and one iron plank arranged atop a white circular concrete base, New York City-based artist Will Horwittt’s minimalist sculpture, Spaces With Iron (1972), invites us to consider how balance is achieved through arrangement.

Apparently fixed, there are ways the sculpture becomes dynamic. The track of the sun and the cast of its shadows alters the careful arrangement of lines and the work’s sense of depth. And by moving around the piece, you can play with the negative space, transforming the sculpture with every step. (Note that the main subject of the piece—as indicated in the title—is space, not material.)

On loan from Newfields, Spaces With Iron has been at IUPUI since 2009. Horwitt (1934-1985) was a nationally exhibited modernist sculptor who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. His work was well-reviewed by The New York Times, recognized for its expressive simplicity.

To learn more about this artwork, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaces_with_Iron, 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.”

Horizons by Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir

Horizons by Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir

TITLE: Horizons
ARTIST: Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir
DATE: 2007-08
MATERIALS: glass, iron
TYPE: sculpture

How do you encounter Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir’s provocative Horizons (2008)? Does the work invite you to stray off your narrow path or does it quicken your step? Does it turn your head or fix it to the ground? Do you identify with one figure more than another? Or do they repel you? In other words, how do we square with these strange entities?

These life size cast iron figures are designed to age and weather over time, developing a patina that connects them, more and more, to the natural world. In their transformation, they invite us to connect our own aging processes to those of the earth.

But why are these figures, as a group, named Horizons? Look closer and find insets of green glass slipped into each body (except one!), references to the vast horizons that exist outside of Thórarinsdóttir’s Icelandic studio.

“The horizontal glass lines in the figures connect them to each other,” she explains. “But the glass also opens them up to daylight. So, it’s like a window that allows us to look into the inner world, the core.”

A temporary installation, this sculpture lived at IUPUI from 2018 to 2021.

Horizons the Art of Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir by Frank Cantor