The Constructivist Cosmologies of Richard Lippold

Ad Astra - Richard Lippold
Ad Astra – Richard Lippold

Dataisnature encountered the work of the American artist, Richard Lippold, while on a visit to the MOMA in NYC last year. Works such as 5 Variations Within a Sphere and Variation Number 7 Full Moon, created in the late 40’s and early 50’s are intricate abstract geometric sculptures using wire as the main medium. Both pieces are modest in scale compared to the larger works he created for public spaces, the lobbies of international institutions and performance spaces. The most well-know large scale construction, The Sun, commissioned by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, used nearly two miles of wire filled with 22-carat gold and was held together by 14,000 hand-welded joints.

An important aspect of Lippold’s work is the interplay of light on reflective metals and wires to create complex spatial illusions within precisely defined utopian constructivist forms.

Considering the recent importance being given to Lippolds work, it’s unfortunate to find very little information about this artist available on the web. The Richard Lippold Foundation website seems to be permanently unreachable. Fortunately Flickr throws up some great images of his work – particularly Ad Astra, a 115ft high double spire bearing wires in star-like configurations, created in 1976 for the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

Further reading:
Wired: Preserving the Installations of Richard Lippold

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