Tag Archives: sculpture

Princeton Cop: in Dallas, Doing WHAT?

cop 1545162832-CTCopStatue_06
Photo by Carli Geraci, Dallas Morning News

You could take this as another example of how the whimsical statues of Seward Johnson can amuse passersby all over the world.

The work of the 88-year-old sculptor, J&J heir, and founder of Grounds for Sculpture is scattered all over Princeton. At Princeton hospital, the figures of the caregiver tending the little old lady always give me a start, no matter how many times I’ve encountered them.

In 1983, using a Princeton police officer as a model, Johnson fashioned a statue of a nearly six-foot cop writing a parking ticket. Titled “Time’s Up,” it is one of seven castings, and it was installed at a Dallas shopping center, Central Market, by Lincoln Property Company.

How cute, you might say, especially since another whimsical touch, the eggplant, is nearby.

But since social justice is one of my concerns, I think there could be another motive. If you were an undocumented person — down there in Texas country — how would you react?

Is this just an update of Confederate statues meant to intimidate?

Thanks to Brendan Meyer for the light-hearted reporting, and the amusing details are here. The paranoid insinuations are mine.

(Aside to Princeton residents, don’t worry about current cops issuing parking tickets until after Christmas or even January. According to my ‘reliable sources,’ because of the confusing new system,’ the meter cops are issuing only warnings. But don’t tell the tourists — we need the revenue.) 


Engulfing Experience: Fox or Hedgehog?

serra sfHave you forgotten about, or have your ever even seen, the giant sculpture jewel of Princeton’s campus, the Richard Serra sculpture? Two New York Times articles in the past two days made me want to go back and ‘walk’ the tunnel again. On May 12 Ken Johnson dubbed  Serra the “greatest living sculptor of Minimalist abstraction” and suggested that to view Serra’s work currently at the Gagosian Gallery was “an engulfing experience…Moving through the construction, you become acutely attuned to sight, touch and sound and to your own being in time and space. Consciousness itself becomes an object of consciousness.”  Today’s article on San Francisco’s MoMA features a Jason Henry photo (above) of the Serra sculpture at the museum’s entrance.

hedgehog fox

Serra’s 2010 sculpture, behind the Lewis Library (my photo above), is known as “The Fox and the Hedgehog.” As described on the campus web page, Industrial yet sensual, this massive sculpture invites visitors to walk through its steel curves in order to experience art, space, and environment in a physical way. The title, taken from an Isaiah Berlin essay on Tolstoy, quotes the Greek poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one great thing.” Serra extends this proposition as a question to students—will you be a fox or a hedgehog?

I am not a minimalist. Anyone who has been in my house knows that. But I like to feast my eyes on uncluttered space and put my body between the comforting metal walls of the Serra sculpture. If you haven’t tried it — do, and you can decide if you want to be the Fox or the Hedgehog. For me, that decision has already been made.




Seward Johnson: Thursday, 5/7 @11:30 am

I want my “people” to be unheroic, and in so being, become universal.  But I want their act that I am celebrating, the existential gesture, to be heroic in the lowest key. So says celebrated but controversial sculptor Seward Johnson, He speaks at the Princeton Chamber lunch on Thursday, May 7, at 11:30 a.m. He helped create one of New Jersey’s biggest tourist attractions, Grounds for Sculpture.