Off view

Mexican, b. 1941
Infinite Flight, 1995
20 1/2 in. x 13 ft. 6 in. x 43 in. (52.1 x 411.5 x 109.2 cm)
Gift of the V. M. Contreras Foundation
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Victor Contreras melds abstract form with a symbolic subject in this spare sculpture. A vertically oriented abstract bronze with remarkably little mass, its tubular forms look like a drawing in space that proceeds upward from the base, crossing the central axis, up, around, and back down again toward and into the base. The artist has interpreted the work in two ways. In 2000 he revealed visual and narrative references, noting, “This sculpture was inspired by two white ‘mariposas’ [butterflies] in flight, which ancient Indian Mexican legends say are souls coming back to comfort their beloved.” Indeed, Contreras has often re-created Mexican legends in the visual language of abstraction, integrating his culture into the flow of contemporary art. In 2005 he spoke more broadly of Infinite Flight as “a symbolic work of art, symbolizing the infinity of time.” In reference to his work as a whole, he has said, “The Hands of God, Human Unity, and Good and Evil are all themes of my public works. I create these sculptures for the benefit of the public, so that people can be moved and inspired to realize the greater themes of life.”