American, b. 1943
Night Traveler, 1977
10 ft. 11 in. x 47 in. x 47 1/2 in. (332.7 x 119.4 x 120.7 cm)
Purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Night Traveler’s fragmented post-and-lintel gateway is characteristic of Joel Perlman’s sculptures of the late 1970s. The visually shifting planes in a shallow space, combined with muted coloration, suggest his interest in applying the painterly innovations of Cubism to the real space of sculpture. The monumental, vertical construction evokes the forms of skyscrapers, doorways, or ancient temples. “Architecture is a definite influence,” Perlman has stated. “If I were not a sculptor, I would want to be an architect.” Night Traveler was commissioned by Storm King. According to the artist, when he conceived the work he was interested in certain colors receding and others moving forward. Indeed, the close color contrast of brown and black creates a spatial tension, as do the work’s positive and negative spaces.