Creator: Howard Kalish
Date: 2013 (installed at Griffiss)
Medium: steel, paint
Technique: welding, powder coating
Dimensions: 20 feet (height) x 10 feet 6 inches (width) x 10 feet 6 inches (depth)
An explosion of reds, oranges, and yellows rises from a columnar base of browns and greens. Many layers of metaphor burst forth here, as well. Flames rise from a pyre. Branches rise from the trunk of a tree. Flower blossoms burst forth from a stem. All relate to the Greek myth of Persephone, as named in artist Howard Kalish's title. After spending the fall and winter each year in the fiery underworld with her husband Hades, Persephone rises back to earth each spring and summer. With her comes the return of plant life to the earth, with spring's eruption of sprouts and blossoms.
When you keep this character in mind, the abstract sculpture can even take on the illusion of a figure, standing still with arms upraised. The columnar base is reminiscent of early Greek Kore figurative sculpture, young women who were associated with Persephone appearing in elegant columnar forms. The subject here is of nature, and of the myths that explain it, yet the materials are industrial: welded and powder-coated steel. For Kalish, this expresses the significance of our connection to nature and our striving to understand its many facets.
Subject: Public art, Metal sculpture, Outdoor sculpture, Persephone (Greek deity)
Rights: © Howard Kalish 2014
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Location: Griffiss International Sculpture Garden, Rome, along Hill Road