Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Chicago

Artist:
Pol Bury (Belgian, Haine-Saint-Pierre 1922–2005 Paris)
Date:
ca. 1969
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Sheet: 29.6 x 15.5 cm (11 5/8 x 6 1/8 in.) Mount: 40 x 30.1 cm (15 3/4 x 11 7/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Twentieth-Century Photography Fund, 2012
Accession Number:
2012.115
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
In 1962 the kinetic sculptor Bury began a series of photobased works called “Cinetisations” in which he cut photographs of architecture and works of art into thin strips that he reassembled to create compositions that appear to swerve, buckle, or collapse into themselves. In an interview in 1970, Bury explained, “My cinetised skyscraper reveals the slow-motion work of gravity. . . . The intervention in the image might seem to be a menacing desire to destroy, but we must see in it the wish to give an air of liberty to that which thinks itself immutable.” He made this “cinetisation” of the Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago’s tallest building from 1965 to 1969, when he was teaching in Chicago in the late 1960s.
Inscription: Titled and signed by artist in pencil on mount, recto BC below print: "Chicago"; BR: "Pol Bury"; inscribed in pencil in unknown hand on mount, recto BRC: "x"
Estate of Pol Bury; [Galerie Antoine Laurentin, Paris]; [Charles Isaacs Photographs Inc., New York]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 60," September 11, 2012–January 13, 2013.

Pol Bury was one of the first practitioners of "kinetic art" in the 1960s. His first kinetic pieces from the 1950s, inspired by Alexander Calder's mobiles, were weather-vane like sculptures that were activated by the viewer. In the late 1960s he began working in stainless and Cor-Ten steel, producing monumental balls that spun or rolled, columns that rotated, and planes that tilted, all activated by concealed electrical mechanisms. He has executed a number of large-scale public commissions, including projects for the Palais Royal in Paris and for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

From 1962 to 1988, he began a series of photo-based works called "Cinetisations," in which he cut photographs of architecture and works of art into thin strips, which he then reassembled to create compositions that appear to swerve, buckle, or collapse into themselves. In an interview in 1970, Bury explained, "My cinetised skyscraper reveals the slow-motion work of gravity. ...The intervention in the image might seem to be a menacing desire to destroy, but we must see in it the wish to give an air of liberty to that which thinks itself immutable." He made this "cinetisation" of the Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago's tallest building from 1965 to 1969, when he was teaching in Chicago in the late 1960s.
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