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Magritte's Smile

Here's a new piece, Magritte's Smile, 12 feet in length,
aluminum casting, fabricated at Polich Tallix,
work by Edward Tufte and Penny Humphrey.

-- Edward Tufte

Our Kindly Contributor refers to Magritte's painting The Treachery of Images, upon which is painted "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" ("This not a pipe"), making the point, which we knew before we started, that the painting shows an image of a pipe, not an actual puffable pipe. For more and The Treachery of Images, see Wikipedia on Magritte.

Magritte's smile, the sculpture, makes an overt reference to another painting of Magritte. Also the smile has the ambiguous status, perhaps, of a good many of Magritte's images, their conjunction of presence and denial of presence. Magritte's Smile, since it at least resides in three dimensions, is closer to a real fish and a real smile than flatland representations of the same.

-- Edward Tufte

Here's a short video showing Magritte's Smile at our studio. Penny Humphrey, my colleague, did much of the creative and production work in making the piece, which was completed a few weeks ago at Polich Tallix. Near the end of the video, Penny and I celebrate the work.

Magritte's Smile will be installed at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum probably on June 3, where it will reside until January 17, 2010 during my show at the Museum.

We're having another one made now at the foundry and might put the second one outdoors in the sculpture garden at the Museum. The first Magritte's Smile will be hung inside the Museum about 10 feet in the air.

This video is also available on YouTube and Vimeo

-- Edward Tufte

Magritte's Smile at night in the courtyard of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

-- Edward Tufte

Eiko and Koma with Magritte's Smile

Performance at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, June 20, 2009:

Photographs by the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

-- Edward Tufte

Threads relevant to sculpture:
Ace and Porta do multimedia
Bird Series
Aluminum and stainless steel; many, many pieces moving in the air.
Bouquet sculpture series--and Walking, Seeing, Constructing
Beginning of Bouquet series (now 7); along with theoretical statement beginning the volume 5 project.
Buddha with Bird Nest: sculpture
Complex sculptural shapes
Dear Leader I: landscape sculpture May 2006
Narrative piece about some mysterious porcelain objects in a stainless steel perspective box.
Dog sculpture (Porta the Portuguese Water Dog)
ET Modern
ET museum/gallery in the Chelsea Art District in New York 2010-2013.
ET show at George Champion Modern Shop
ET gallery show in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Escaping Flatland sculptures
Ten large stainless steel pieces in the landscape generate many views and painted color fields as the sun moves across the sky and the season changes.
Feynman Diagrams, Edward Tufte sculptures and exhibits
The Conceptual and Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams. Art show + 16 page essay.
Flame Theater
Georgia O'Keeffe and Escaping Flatland
Hogpen Hill #1: sculpture installed August 2006
First major piece (24 feet light, stainless steel) installed in new 122 acre sculpture park underway in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Ironstone artworks, torqued steel
Masks Quartet, 2011
bronze casting
Megaliths, Continuous and Silent, Stuctures of Unknown Significance
Stone+air artworks. Scuplture, megaliths
Millstone sculpture series
Massive industrial pieces sorting out circles and light. Redesigning and repurposing scrap from nuclear power plant.
Multiplicity in visual experiences (ET presentation for a museum show)
Nine reviews of ET's Aldrich Museum sculpture show
ET museum show in Connecticut 2009-2010

Paradox sculptures
Petals 1-3
Aluminum hyperbolic paraboloids in the landscape reflect light and shadow. The pieces move with the contour of the land.
Philosophical Diamond Signs
Philosophical alerts, imperatives, and thoughts about the path past and future.
Rocket Science
~32 feet (10 m) high and ~72 feet (22 m) long, and is constructed from ~48,000 pounds (22,000 kg) of rusting scrap steel
Rocket Science #2 (Lunar Lander)
Rocket Science 3: Airstream Interplanetary Explorer
Sculpture Forgings
Steel forging mounted on wood base. Blacksmithing video.
Sculpture: Negative space studies
Three table pieces; strong positive elements create active negative volumes (the air) to torque. Movies.
Seeing Around: New ET essay published
Skewed Machine
Spring Arcs, an ET landscape sculpture
Four solid stainless steel arcs in the landscape. Long thread, many photographs on meaning, construction, viewing of the piece.
Stainless steel images: anisotropic calligraphy
Big series of engraved 3D anisomorphic images that move with light.
Steel sculptures
Rough, thick, rusting steel, with surface images in the steel's patina.
Table sculptures
About a dozen major table pieces in wood, steel, stainless steel.
The Drawing Center fax show: ET exhibits
The Twigs: Landscape artworks made from steel and air
The beautiful Twig. Steel, 32 feet high, with accompanying thread on reading the piece and the complexities of modeling large 3D objects.
Theater Museum artworks
Tong Bird of Paradise
Towers: a new memorial for 9/11
Visual complexities of light, shadow, perpsective. Perforated stainless steel.
ZZ Smile (Zerlina's Smile)

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