Guest blogger Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art, offering lectures, tours and program planning. She is Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission and a member of the Public Art Committee. She invites you join her SMU/CAPE class, “From Museum to Marketplace,” on Oct. 24 to keep up with the cultural excitement in Dallas.
Line of Thought, the recently dedicated bronze sculpture by Turner Prize-winning artist Tony Cragg, seems to teeter-totter at 21 feet high. But in truth, it’s perfectly balanced in front of Rosewood Court at Cedar Springs and Pearl in Dallas, the new home of the Rosewood Corporation.
Cragg, who worked as a lab technician in the 1960s, is fascinated with materials of all kinds. He pushes them to their limits, and while doing so, he plays with our senses. As we pass Line of Thought in our cars or by foot, the eight-ton sculpture looks light enough to have had its form twisted by a fierce wind. It looks like a wave erect in the water, or an undulating mass of melting rubber swaying back and forth. We marvel at its steadiness. But then we see a profile appearing within the zig-zagging bronze. We see two. Now three. All of different proportions. The profiles seem to move, and we are left with uncertain responses, just as the artist hopes.
Three profiles are just what Cragg wants us to see, and he says that they are integral to the work. Cragg is not an abstract artist, discouraging viewers to recognize familiar objects.
“We are very well-trained to see profiles,” he said, and he purposely enhances his work with these recognizable focal points, tempting us to take double-takes. As for the balancing act, Cragg explains that the steel within the sculpture provides the rigidity and allows the work to stand alone. He calls this “organic fullness.”
Patrick Sands, an Executive Director of the Rosewood Corporation who helped select the work, asked me, “What does it make you feel?” I pass the sculpture often, and upon seeing it and discerning the faces, it actually makes me smile and makes me feel safe, watched over by three benevolent bronze guards.
You can read Jerome Weeks’ thoughts on Line of Thought when it was first installed — here.