I once thought it a monumental eyesore. If you have ever driven through Denver on I-25, by the Broadway exit, you may have noticed a giant yellow wall of concrete, Jenga-like blocks stacked and fanned out on top of each other. For years I eyed this sculpture with suspicion, frankly I didn't like it. It reminded me of a lot of uninspired public art you see plopped around in an attempt to lend a bit of culture to cities. I guess not everything can be the Chicago Picasso. For years I wondered about it, but never thought to stop by the Denver Design District, where it resides, to enquire. Really, why would I? Yet I was curious. Well now I know. Intriguingly, it's a work by an original Bauhaus member, Austrian Herbert Bayer and it's called "Articulated Wall". Tom Lundin's very cool The Denver Eye blog set me straight. The man did it all. He was a graphic designer, architect, photographer, painter, art curator, art director, and of course sculptor. A product of the Weimar milieu, he studied under Kandinsky and Klee. He was thus included in the Nazi's Degenerate Art exhibit, an amazing collection of art for all the wrong reasons -- an incredible story by itself. This prompted him to head for the United States where he continued a productive career until his death in 1985, which is the year the "Wall" landed in Denver. I'm unsure of the connection, but he did reside in Aspen during that town's early resort days just after the war. There is an ongoing exhibit of his work at the Aspen Institute and at MIT's List Visual Arts Center. It seems that he should be a little more well known, especially to me. So, now I have respect for what I once considered not so interesting. It's time I visited the thing. I'll also have to check out a book of his complete works MIT Press published in 1984. Oh, and visit The Denver Eye, you are in for a treat. You will get more on the "Articulated Wall" plus a dose of Raquel Welch. Trust me.
Herbert Bayer It's actually larger than the original.
She dances about architecture