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St Sophia


St Sophia 1983. Acrylic on napped vinyl. About 10'x56'x10'

St Sophia, made for a 1983 exhibition in the Concourse Gallery of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is modelled on the two-part "Archimedes Excursion" made for the Columbus Arts Festival and first exhibited on the Ohio State House Lawn in 1974. It is named for St Sophia or Hagia Sophia, (the Church of Holy Wisdom) built by Emperor Justinian in Istanbul in 5th century A.D (which I went to Istanbul especially to see in l974) and for Sophia Collings, my husband's mother.

As in "Archimedes Excursion" the subdivision of the two paired discs that are the basis St Sophia's geometry is an archimedes spiral. Once divided the discs become long strips that are separated by inner and outer spacers extending the full length of the piece. Before cutting, the discs were painted in a radial sequence consisting of six sections of spectrum color, each of which is subdivided into six segments of spectrum colour. The spacer strips were painted in bands using the same sequence. This marking is a "numbering" system that allowed a close approximation of the similarly marked model and also enabled informed adjustments to the height of the central section (it had to be high enough for my 6'4" son, and in this case assistant, to walk underneath) after the first inflation.

At CUNY, the sculpture stretched the length of the Concourse which connected 42nd and 43rd Streets.. The associated long drawings were shown upstairs.

Construction details and photos: see next section.



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