Saturday, October 20, 2012

Poet inspires Artist

Born in Michigan in 1945 and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Robert Lobe completed his undergraduate education at Oberlin College in Ohio and headed east to Manhattan to study at Hunter College, a division of the City University of New York. He stayed. Lobe's aluminum trees, boulders and other natural forms are hard to classify. Intuitive, rather than analytic, his departure from Minimalist sculpture from the 1960s and 1970s. We might call Lobe's work Post-Minimalist sculpture.
The Palm at the End of the Parking Lot was installed by Lobe at Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis (1995). This sculpture was inspired a poem by Wallace Stevens (1954):

Of Mere Being
The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor.
A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.
You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.
The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.
Wallace Stevens was an American Modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School. He spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. More than any other modern poet, Stevens was concerned with the transformative power of the imagination. Composing poems on his way to and from the office and in the evenings, Stevens continued to spend his days behind a desk at the office, and led a quiet, uneventful life. He did not receive widespread recognition until a year before his death in 1955.

No comments: