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Sculptor Reuben Margolin Brings Light to Dallas

by Tina Aguilar 29 Oct 2010 12:06 PM

Guest blogger Tina Aguilar visits with the sculptor whose new work, Nebula, now hovers 50 feet above the Atrium II at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.


Guest Blogger Tina Aguilar teaches Humanities at El Centro College.

What’s in a nebula or a wave? Do images from NASA photography or the last time you were near the ocean come to mind? What about your favorite math or science formula?

This week, Dallas places another keystone that expands our fortress of all things art. The wizardry and creative zeal of sculptor Reuben Margolin makes a mark with Nebula, his latest kinetic sculpture, which resides in the Atrium II at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Margolin’s sculpture is one piece of Atrium II’s transformation. EDG Interior Architecture  + Design, Gizmo Art Production Inc., Margolin’s helpers who engineered and fabricated the artwork, and the art advocacy of Crow Holdings all worked together.

Photos courtesy of Reuben Margolin

The massive amber crystalline swell hovers 50 feet above the Atrium II and allows viewers to enjoy the aura of nature, math and science. Margolin’s fascination with waves started with a glance at a caterpillar and watching its movement. A desire to construct such magical movements feeds his artistic expression as he explores new mechanical possibilities in such a digitally driven world.

“Since I wanted the Nebula to sparkle under both natural light and also artificial light, and wanted a warm color, I made the lower part out of thousands of amber reflectors and anodized aluminum organized into a hexagonal multi-tiered undulating form” Margolin says.

His installations have been on view across the globe, from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in California to the Technorama Swiss Science Center.

“After realizing its size and all the details, one of my original thoughts was ‘How were they going transport it from San Francisco to Dallas?’” says Susan Friedman, local publicist for the Hilton Anatole.

Each Margolin installation takes time and a chorus of individuals to place each artwork. As he notes, his partners included “engineers, riggers, truck drivers, welders and machinists.”

Margolin’s says his inspirations are from, “movements in nature – trees blowing in the wind, water flowing in a stream.  The movement is so fluid, and so meditative, and I can’t help but pondering how I could make something which has the same feeling.”

Hypnotic is one word to describe his art. His dance with geometry offers us a glimpse into the marrow that binds us together.

“Much of the inspiration of the Nebula comes from the atrium itself,” Margolin says. “I love the soaring, monumental space, the steel truss work above, and the way that the glass ceiling reflects the interior lights.  I wanted to incorporate those existing elements into a kinetic sculpture, which is both meditative and dramatic.“

Nebula is the largest sculpture Margolin has constructed, and it took three weeks to assemble and fly.  Only one motor powers the mechanical intricacies of aircraft cable and the swarm of pulleys.

Nebula will be on view beginning Nov. 1 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.