DEWITT GODFREY: DRIGGS SCULPTURE
PRESS RELEASE / FALL 2002
A classic architectural trope motivated DeWitt Godfrey's first installation in Black & White Gallery's outdoor project space. "In a spatial sense, the indoor gallery is like a corridor, and then you emerge into this courtyard that has all the qualities of an interior space, but it draws your attention to the sky," he said. "It's kind of like you're in the ruin of an old cathedral; you enter, but then you're both inside and outside at the same time." Rather than competing with that architectural drama, the artist's series of three steel tubes—titled Driggs Sculpture after the gallery's street address—responded to it. All three cylinders were made from strips of cor-ten steel, a weathering alloy that, despite its use in famously monolithic constructions, is surprisingly pliable in certain shapes. Godfrey built each tube as a perfect cylinder, but with a different thicknesses of metal. Installed in the space, they leaned on the walls and sagged in varying degrees, creating an unpredictable structural system that took its shape from the courtyard. Each piece had its own behavior and responded to the context accordingly. "Four weeks into the installation, we had a big, heavy, wet snowstorm, and the whole thing transformed a second time," recalled Godfrey. "The moment was really exciting because not only were the structures dynamic in their initial placement, but they remained dynamic and had an ongoing relationship to the environment that was more sophisticated than their physical content."