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Black Mound (Turtle)

© Estate of Jene Highstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jene Highstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jene Highstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jene Highstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jene Highstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jene Highstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jene Highstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jene Highstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Jene Highstein

American, 1942-2013

Black Mound (Turtle), 1976

wood, wire, and black concrete

overall: 78 x 237 x 147 inches (198.12 x 601.98 x 373.38 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

The Panza Collection and by exchange: George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, Albert H. Tracy Fund and Bequest of John Mortimer Schiff, 2015

2015:14.15

More Details

Class

Installations (visual works)

Work Type

Installation (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Jene Highstein’s sculptural practice exemplifies the notion of “sculpture as place,” a concept that emerged out of many artists’ re-engagement with traditions of monument building in the 1960s and 1970s. Highstein’s Black Mound (Turtle) is a massive black concrete mound that evokes both the austere physical presence of Minimalist sculpture as well as ancient architectural forms like the tholos, a kind of beehive-shaped tomb common in Aegean cultures. In contrast to these works, Black Mound (Turtle) is reconstructed each time it is exhibited. Wooden scaffolding and wire mesh provide a substructure onto which concrete is then poured. After the material is smoothed and dried, the form is stained black. Unlike many of the Minimalists, Highstein did not eschew real-world references and openly suggested specific forms or narratives in his work; for example, Black Mound is parenthetically titled Turtle, connecting its elliptical shape with the natural world. In its dimensions, scale, and form, Highstein’s work is both human and architectural. A shade taller than an average person, it is too small to be an environment but too large to be a figure. Its swollen form is at once organic and zoomorphic, but also reminiscent of a domed structure. Pitched between sculpture and place, Highstein’s Black Mound (Turtle) is emblematic of the key concerns and debates surrounding three-dimensional art in the 1970s.

Label from Looking at Tomorrow: Light and Language from The Panza Collection, 1967–1990, October 24, 2015–February 7, 2016

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