Off view

American, b. 1944
Four Poles and Light, 1973
50 x 50 x 50 ft. (15.2 x 15.2 x 15.2 m)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
Storm King Art Center Archives
In the early 1970’s, the Northern end of Storm King consisted of heavily forested woods and coarse fields. During that time Ralph Ogden, one of the founders of the art center, brought Gil Hawkins to the edge of Museum Hill to ponder the possibilities of that landscape. The artist set to work on a concept which would have to harmonize within that vast area, while drawing visitors in from afar. The artist recalls bringing his to-scale maquette model of Four Poles and Light to Ralph Ogden. When Ogden asked about the size of the sculpture, Hawkins having thought ahead pulled out a miniature lead man and set it near the sculpture. Ogden said, “Let’s build it.”

Working with a highway lighting pole manufacturer, Hawkins designed a series of tapered aluminum poles which reach a vertical of 50 feet. The artist employed a cunning engineering technique—curving the angled poles slightly skyward—to offset the aluminum bending from the force of gravity. Simple, crossing elements triangulate to define the negative space, and allow the sculpture to float amongst its wooded surroundings.

Other works by this artist
Blue Moon

Blue Moon, 1970

Ex, 1971 (Refabricated 2020)