Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The art on the streets of San Francisco...

Aside from the interesting architecture and famous landmarks of San Francisco, one thing I didn't realise before this visit was how much art is on display on the streets.

In addition to the Hearts of San Francisco sculptures that I discovered, there is a wealth of fantastic monuments, statues and art installations everywhere you look.

Eclipse Sculpture by Charles O Perry
These are the kinds of sculptures I like too - big, bold and expressive.

Take for example the impressive Eclipse above, a 40-foot high geodesic sphere made from anodized aluminum by Charles O. Perry from 1973, which can be found in the hotel atrium lobby of the Hyatt Regency in the Financial District.

The Tulip
The Tulip sculpture Embarcadero Center San Francisco
From my hotel window I looked down upon The Tulip at Four Embarcadero Center, created by architect and sculptor John C. Portman.

Across from the Ferry Building of San Francisco's Port in the Justin Herman Plaza you'll find this massive concrete sculpture by Canadian Armand Vaillancourt.

Vaillancourt Fountain
Vaillancourt Fountain sculpture from above
One of San Francisco's most famous and controversial works of art, the Vaillancourt Fountain was designed in 1971 to allow visitors to walk over, under and through its cascading concrete boxes.

Vaillancourt Fountain
Vaillancourt Fountain sculpture San Francisco
In the same plaza you'll also find this engrossing sculpture called La Chiffoniere by Jean Dubuffet from 1978.

La Chiffoniere
La Chiffoniere sculpture San Francisco
Designed by the French artist to emulate a cartoon-like ragged woman, the sculpture is made from stainless steel with black epoxy tracings.

La Chiffoniere
Jean Dubuffet's La Chiffoniere sculpture
You also find the quirky Yin and Yang sculpture by American artist Robert Arneson in the plaza.

Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang sculptures San FranciscoThe originals of Arneson's 'Eggheads' were positioned by the artist at UC Davis fine arts complex courtyard, where he taught ceramics, shortly before his death in 1992.

Yin and Yang Egghead
Yin and Yang sculpture Robert Arneson
These reproductions were cast in 2002 from his original molds.

Yin and Yang
Robert Arneson Yin and Yang sculpture San Francisco
Moving on to Union Square and at the centre atop a tall column you'll find the goddess of victory, Victoria. The bronze statue commemorates the victory of Admiral Dewey at Manila Bay in 1898 in the Spanish-American War.

Union Square bronze Victoria Monument
Next up these two manly statues stand guard outside the doors of the private member athletic organisation, The Olympic Club.

Olympic Club statues
Olympic Club heroic male statue
Olympic Club male statue
I'll leave you now with three magnificent public works of art by world-famous deaf sculptor Douglas Tilden.

Native Son Monument
Douglas Tilden Native Son Monument
The first monument was included in my West Coast angel sightings because of the spectacular winged angel atop the column and was unveiled in on 5th September, 1897.

The next statue is the sixteen feet high bronze, California Volunteers Monument. The memorial can be found at the corner of Market and Dolores Streets to honour the men who subdued a Phillipine war of independence in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War.

California Volunteers Monument
California Volunteers Monument
The sculpture features the goddess of war, Bellona, astride the mythical winged horse Pegasus, towering over an American soldier standing over his fallen comrade.

The final statue from my recent travels in San Francisco and Tilden's 1901 masterpiece, The Mechanics, survived the famous 1906 earthquake and fire and can still be found at Market, Bush and Battery Streets.

The Mechanics
The Mechanics Monument San Francisco
It's amazing to think that this majestic bronze sculpture is over 100 years old as it looks as impressive now as it must have when it was unveiled in the past, although I'm sure the five buff semi-naked men caused a bit of a stir back in the day.

The Mechanics
The Mechanics Statue Market Street San Francisco
I'm sure this just scratches the surface of the works of art on display on the streets of San Francisco, but it gives you a taste of what you can see there.

Enjoy the images and stay tuned for some more sculptures that I uncovered on my latest visit to The Getty Center...

1 comment:

Casey said...

In Christopher Moore's funny book Bite Me - he describes the Battery ST. Bronze sculpture of the Mechanics as 4 guys trying to molest a stapler. :-)

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