What is Besthoff Sculpture Garden?
The garden is a heaven of modern sculpture art and officially known as Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. It is located beside The New Orleans Museum of Art, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Besthoff Sculpture Garden opened to the public on November 23, 2003 and has around 60 modern sculptures set among trees, lagoons, several bridges, and a walking trail.
To find it, you just head out from downtown to New Orleans City Park. If you don’t have a car, you take the “Canal Street – City Park” streetcar line to the end station. The park is just a short walking distance from the intersection of Carrollton Avenue and Esplanade Avenue. Once in the park, it is easy to spot New Orleans Museum of Art, and you will find the sculpture garden just beside the main building.
Sculptures by Many Famous Artists
Besthoff Sculpture Garden features works by Louis Bourgeois, Henry Moore, George Segal, Margritte, and many more.
The sculpture Karma is by Do-Ho Suh (Korea). It is an intriguing sculptural installation, ascending into the sky like a human ladder. It shows a tower of piggy-backed men rising to the sky. Each man successively covering the eyes of the man below.
“Standing Man with Radiating Words” is a sculpture by Lesley Dill (USA).
On the back of the sculpture there is a brief quote inscribed at the bottom. It is from a poem by Emily Dickinson:
“How ruthless are the gentle”
Three Figures and Four Benches is a sculpture by American pop-artist George Segal (1924-2000). Often compared with the paintings of Edward Hopper, George Segal’s work expresses the loneliness and tensions of modern life.
The figures sit near each other on four benches, but do not seem communicate. They stare off into space caught up in their own thoughts.
The Labors of Alexander, was originally a painting by Rene Magritte from 1950. The image of the felled tree had been used in several of Magritte’s paintings.
Late in his life, Magritte decided to reproduce 8 of his paintings to sculptures in bronze, the Labors of Alexander being one of them. They were cast in wax and Magritte approved and signed the works. Unfortunately, Magritte died in 1967, before the sculptures were completed.
Overflow XI is a sculpture by Jaume Plensa (Spain).
Jaume Plensa has said during an interview that:
“letters and words became my materials now… the association of the letters like body cells can create words in more complex organisms; and the words between them can form a text that, gathered with others, can write a culture.”
His work is often installed in public places and can be found in Spain, France, Japan, England, Korea, Germany, Canada, and United States.
Riace Warriors, I, II, III, IV is a collection of sculptures by Dame Elisabeth Frink (Great Britain).
Frink’s later work focused on the male figure as a theme. This series is based on the Riace Warriors, two rare early classical (ca. 480 BCE) bronze Greek statues found off the coast of Italy in the 1970s.
Frink created a total of five sculptures for her series Riace Figures.
LOVE, Red Blue is a sculpture by Robert Indiana (U.S.A.)
Indiana was one of the pop-artists that began incorporating advertisements, comics, billboards and other items of pop culture into his art. He also used letters and words in his paintings and sculptures; LOVE being the most famous sculpture.
His LOVE design has been reproduced in a variety of formats for rendering in displays around the world. In U.S.A. alone there are 20 sculptures.
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