Project update for Richard Erdman’s monumental sculpture Arete
July 08, 2016
We are happy to share an update on an exciting collaboration between Richard Erdman, Richard Meier and Partners and CDC, located in Taipei, Taiwan. See details about the project here.
Arete is a sculpture conceived to exhibit a strong and upright vertical stance in composition of line, form, and balance, which gives the sculpture a powerfully definitive presence. The sculpture’s muscular, yet soft branches connect to each other in a rumba-like dance of angles, curves, and counterpoints, offering a continual sense of vibrant movement.
When carved in stone, the action filled, space-defining forms of the sculpture are almost like the hands and limbs of a human, busy with purpose as they cut through space. The sculpture holds our attention in its commanding and dynamic counterpoints of upward thrusts and downward dives like an athlete in his prime.
As with Arete’s cousins, Serenade and Odyssey, both conceived in marble, the combination of the sculptures’ organic modelling with convex, body-like forms helps to humanize and personalize the dichotomy of marble’s greatest qualities: it is alive, sensuous, and beautiful, yet impervious and sustainable for millenniums.
Arete is architectural in its structure as it zigzags upward like a building in resilient strength; however, its exhilarating, ballet-like performance on the plaza would keep the sculpture firmly grounded in our everyday world. It displays an attitude of adventure, risk, and excitement. The vibrancy of the sculpture’s expanding and contracting forms, when executed in stone (versus the pliant and safe material of metal) with the highest levels of skill and craftsmanship, project an awe-inspiring presence to its viewers.
Though Arete is a strong work for an architectural setting, I feel its composition may be too vertical and firm against the Meier building, which needs a more organic form to unify the building, plaza, and those who will inhabit it.