Black Forest (Polyhedron Forms)
Black Forest (Polyhedron Forms), ca. 1977, Steel
Robin Fredenthal (American, born 1940)
Gross Area (sq. ft.): 130" x 48" x 96". Painted 3/16' plate steel, black. 4,000 lbs.
A gift of Philip and Muriel Berman.
Black Forest adorns the entrance to Penn’s campus on the lawn near 34th and Walnut streets. Fredenthal has created a variety of sculptures that, like this one, involve stacked, leaning, or perfectly balanced tetrahedra. Discussing his affinity for the three-dimensional figure, Fredenthal once said “I can’t think of anything more perfect than a tetrahedron… if visitors came from outer space I’d hand them a tetrahedron, and they would understand.” The artist’s inclination toward geometric sculptures, however, had a tragic beginning. While he was studying Penn’s Graduate School of Fine Arts, Fredenthal began experiencing the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Forced to abandon the intricate drawings that an architectural career demanded of him, he turned to the sculptural exploration of geometry. He began creating simpler geometric models and soon developed the unique style for which he is known today. As his disease progressed and his physical mobility diminished, Fredenthal was able to continue making art with the help of his assistants.
Location: 34th & Walnut, South West Corner : Blanche Levy Park, Philadelphia, PA
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