Gyes Arcade (529)
Christopher Wilmarth (American, 1943–1987)
United States, New York, New York
Industrial sheet glass, cut, slumped, acid-etched, assembled
H: 36 cm, W: 238.5 cm, D: 221.5 cm
For Christopher Wilmarth, who was widely recognized for his abstract sculpture in steel and glass, glass was a solid manifestation of light.
Gyes Arcade is an arrangement of flat and curved commercial plate glass elements that are cut, acid-etched, stacked, and balanced. These elements form a floor composition that both reflects light (clear elements) and absorbs it (etched elements). Other contradictions are apparent in the glass itself (the material’s strength and fragility) and in the composition of the sculpture (seemingly casual but complicated to assemble).
In 1969, glass was rarely seen in contemporary art, especially in large-scale sculpture. Gyes Arcade reflects an important period in 20th-century abstract art. It also preserves a critical moment in 20th-century glass, an intensely creative time of experimentation and exploration by young studio artists in the radical uses of glass for art.
Purchased in honor of Susanne K. Frantz with funds provided by the Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family; Roger G. and Maureen Ackerman Family; James R. and Maisie Houghton; The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass; The Carbetz Foundation, Inc.; The Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation; Daniel Greenberg, Susan Steinhauser, and The Greenberg Foundation; Polly and John Guth; and The Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation.