Triangular Solid with Circular Cut-Outs, Variation K

Dan Graham American

Not on view

By the late 1970s, Graham began to create constructions of two-way mirror glass and steel, installing them in public parks, sculpture gardens, and urban plazas around the world. He calls these hybrid structures "pavilions" after the ornamental buildings that decorate seventeenth-and eighteenth-century European formal gardens—architectural fantasies inspired by the ruins of classical antiquity. Graham's pavilions similarly invite romance or play, but their forms and materials have a more contemporary source: the gleaming glass facades of modern office towers. For the artist, the mirrored cladding of a late 20-century corporate headquarters not only symbolizes economic power and sleek efficiency but also provides camouflage, reflecting the world around it as it shields what happens inside from prying eyes.

Graham has produced approximately twelve variations of the Triangular Solid, all taking the same form of three circles inside three separate squares, assembled to create an equilateral triangle. These primary geometrical forms speak in the reductive language of minimalist sculpture while, at the same time, the round glass cut-outs recall the elemental shape of the traditional Chinese moon gate—another garden feature that, for the artist, directs the viewer's gaze in a focused and contemplative way.

Triangular Solid with Circular Cut-Outs, Variation K, Dan Graham (American, Urbana, Illinois 1942–2022 New York), Glass and aluminum

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