OOSI Sculpture

Terminal

1979 / Gene Kangas / Cleveland

terminal 1979 1.jpg

TERMINAL (21 feet high x 32 feet long x 18 feet wide) is painted steel and includes two life-size figures, a heavy stainless-steel mesh screen, numerous birds and a long "bench" for public use. It was a commission juried by George Sugarman, New York Sculptor; Thomas Messer, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Richard Fleishman, Architect, Cleveland. Since the bench is located at a transit stop, people often rest there waiting for the next bus. Individuals entering the building must walk through the forest of pipes and beams. It was designed for public interactions.

Covering over 32 x 18 square feet of concrete on the west portico of the Frank J. Lausche State Office Building at the corner of Huron and Superior, is Gene Kangas' twisting "Terminal." Terminal consists of a series of winding green vine like pipes soaring 21 feet high, a pair of silhouetted figures framed by a stainless-steel mesh screen and ten silhouetted crows. A Plain Dealer article from November 11, 1979, reported that the standing male figure is a profile of Kangas' younger brother, David, while the seated woman is based on the likeness of his Great Aunt Gertie, who also modelled for the artist.

Shortly after the original steel David figure was cut using an optical tracer, a factory worker pirated the pattern and reproduced it in plywood painted black. Others wanted copies. By 1980, David figures leaning against garages, poles and trees began appearing all over northern Ohio. It became popular yard art.

Gene Kangas notes that the green pipes represent trees and other natural life swirling around and above us every day. Those are juxtaposed against architectural references. Silhouetted figures are a common theme throughout much of Kangas' work. His profile shadow people allow viewers easy points of entry into the work while retaining a mysterious sense of "otherness" that compels viewers and draws them in. Having a familiar entry point, recognizable and visible from far off, is an inviting way for viewers to begin to interact with a piece. Kangas is aware of the implications. He also uses silhouettes because of the many angles where the figures might completely hide from sight, whether obscured or too narrow to recognize. By having vantage points where figures appear and disappear, different narratives unfold depending on where the viewer is in the environmental space.

Terminal is a sculpture that people can walk in and through, with bench seating that invites passers-by to rest a moment and take in the work. It interacts with the pillars of the State Office Building in a pseudo-architectural way that truly helps incorporate this piece into its surroundings.

The sculpture has undergone several pathetic re-paintings by the building’s maintenance crew since 1979. They used the wrong colors and did no surface preparation. Flaking paint was simply painted over with no sanding or any loose paint removal. The entire metal sculpture should be sand blasted and brought back to its original character. The building staff’s excuse: “We don’t have a budget for that.” When the sculpture was installed in 1979, a cast bronze identification plaque was attached to one of the columns. It had one mistake on it. When that was brought to the attention of building supervisors, it was removed and still has not been replaced.

Description provided by the artist, Gene Kangas.

Location: At the west end on the building., Huron Road at Superior Avenue

County

: Cuyahoga

Tags

: , ,

Citation

: Gene Kangas, “Terminal,” Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Inventory, accessed September 22, 2018, http://oosi.sculpturecenter.org/items/show/339.

Dublin Core

Title

Terminal

Description

TERMINAL (21 feet high x 32 feet long x 18 feet wide) is painted steel and includes two life-size figures, a heavy stainless-steel mesh screen, numerous birds and a long "bench" for public use. It was a commission juried by George Sugarman, New York Sculptor; Thomas Messer, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Richard Fleishman, Architect, Cleveland. Since the bench is located at a transit stop, people often rest there waiting for the next bus. Individuals entering the building must walk through the forest of pipes and beams. It was designed for public interactions.

Covering over 32 x 18 square feet of concrete on the west portico of the Frank J. Lausche State Office Building at the corner of Huron and Superior, is Gene Kangas' twisting "Terminal." Terminal consists of a series of winding green vine like pipes soaring 21 feet high, a pair of silhouetted figures framed by a stainless-steel mesh screen and ten silhouetted crows. A Plain Dealer article from November 11, 1979, reported that the standing male figure is a profile of Kangas' younger brother, David, while the seated woman is based on the likeness of his Great Aunt Gertie, who also modelled for the artist.

Shortly after the original steel David figure was cut using an optical tracer, a factory worker pirated the pattern and reproduced it in plywood painted black. Others wanted copies. By 1980, David figures leaning against garages, poles and trees began appearing all over northern Ohio. It became popular yard art.

Gene Kangas notes that the green pipes represent trees and other natural life swirling around and above us every day. Those are juxtaposed against architectural references. Silhouetted figures are a common theme throughout much of Kangas' work. His profile shadow people allow viewers easy points of entry into the work while retaining a mysterious sense of "otherness" that compels viewers and draws them in. Having a familiar entry point, recognizable and visible from far off, is an inviting way for viewers to begin to interact with a piece. Kangas is aware of the implications. He also uses silhouettes because of the many angles where the figures might completely hide from sight, whether obscured or too narrow to recognize. By having vantage points where figures appear and disappear, different narratives unfold depending on where the viewer is in the environmental space.

Terminal is a sculpture that people can walk in and through, with bench seating that invites passers-by to rest a moment and take in the work. It interacts with the pillars of the State Office Building in a pseudo-architectural way that truly helps incorporate this piece into its surroundings.

The sculpture has undergone several pathetic re-paintings by the building’s maintenance crew since 1979. They used the wrong colors and did no surface preparation. Flaking paint was simply painted over with no sanding or any loose paint removal. The entire metal sculpture should be sand blasted and brought back to its original character. The building staff’s excuse: “We don’t have a budget for that.” When the sculpture was installed in 1979, a cast bronze identification plaque was attached to one of the columns. It had one mistake on it. When that was brought to the attention of building supervisors, it was removed and still has not been replaced.

Description provided by the artist, Gene Kangas.

Creator

Date

1979

Source

Gene Kangas

Rights

The State of Ohio

Type

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Location City

Location County

Location Site

At the west end on the building.

Location Street

Huron Road at Superior Avenue

Creation Date

01/01/1979