Before You Can Re-Install Walking to the Sky, You Must First De-Install Nasher's Sculpture

Categories: Arts
Nasher_WalkingTallRemoval.jpg
Patrick Michels
This morning, crews were removing the most famous sculpture at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Don't worry, kids: It returns in a year or so.
On his way into the office this morning, downtown dweller Patrick Michels stopped by the Nasher Sculpture Center, where he espied crews with cranes in the process of removing the final piece of a signature sculpture, Jonathan Borofsky's Walking to the Sky. But fear not: One of the most photographed icons in the city isn't going anywhere: Jane Offenbach, Director of External Affairs at the Nasher, told Patrick it's being "de-installed" for one year so the artist can tighten up the sculpture so it'll last ... forever! Kristen Gibbins also sent out a press release, which follows in full, in which museum officials explain why the pole was getting the shaft this a.m. In short:
The Nasher Sculpture Center will de-install Jonathan Borofsky's Walking to the Sky sculpture on Monday, February 22 for conservation and structural reengineering by the artist. The existing pole will be replaced in approximately one year with a revised design that improves its long-term structural stability.

The revised design will include a newly engineered stainless steel pole with a redesigned interior structure to decrease wind-induced vibration. The painted fiberglass figures, which can be seen walking up the pole and next to it, will also be removed and shipped back to Los Angeles so that they can be repainted, restored and retrofitted to accommodate the couplings on the new pole.
So, you're saying it's going back to Cali, then? Jump.
Nasher Sculpture Center to Temporarily Remove Jonathan Borofsky's Walking to the Sky

Dallas, Texas (February 22, 2010) - The Nasher Sculpture Center will de-install Jonathan Borofsky's Walking to the Sky sculpture on Monday, February 22 for conservation and structural reengineering by the artist. The existing pole will be replaced in approximately one year with a revised design that improves its long-term structural stability.

walkingtothesky.jpg
Flickr user: NK Eide
The revised design will include a newly engineered stainless steel pole with a redesigned interior structure to decrease wind-induced vibration. The painted fiberglass figures, which can be seen walking up the pole and next to it, will also be removed and shipped back to Los Angeles so that they can be repainted, restored and retrofitted to accommodate the couplings on the new pole.

"Walking to the Sky is a favorite sculpture to many of our visitors," said Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center. "We are grateful to Jonathan Borofsky for initiating these improvements which will ensure that the work can be enjoyed for generations."

The Nasher Sculpture Center acquired Walking to the Sky (2004), a sculpture by internationally renowned artist Jonathan Borofsky, on March 23, 2005 following an installation at New York's Rockefeller Center in September of 2004. Two other versions of the sculptures have since been installed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Seoul, South Korea, both with poles using the updated design.

The 100-ft tall dramatic artwork features a group of seven painted fiberglass figures of different races, ages, and genders walking briskly up a stainless steel pole toward the sky. Three other figures stand on the ground observing their ascent. Walking to the Sky rises out of the ground at a 75-degree angle and towers high above the trees and building at the Center, making it visible from several blocks away in every direction.

The work was originally inspired by a story Borofsky's father told him as a child about a friendly giant who lived in the sky. During each tale, father and son would imagine walking to the sky and visiting with the giant, discussing what should be done to help everyone on earth. As Borofsky noted, "the sculpture is a celebration of the human potential for discovering who we are and where we need to go."

In Walking to the Sky, Borofsky continues his ongoing exploration of human ideals, dream life, and fantasy while expanding to a larger compositional group. As Borofsky explained, "It is all of humanity rising upwards from the earth to the heavens above - striving into the future with strength and determination...We are all learning to be free and ultimately this sculpture is a symbol of our collective search for wisdom and awakened consciousness."

Walking to the Sky is one of several Borofsky works from the Nasher Collection, many currently on view in Dallas. A 20-foot-high version of Hammering Man (1984-85) is installed at the Nasher Sculpture Center. In addition, Borofsky's Five Hammering Men (1982) can be seen at NorthPark Center.

Borofsky, who began his career making hermetic drawings and paintings, and complex gallery installations, has spent the last two decades developing a personalized iconography of human life, which he transforms into large-scale public installations. Built with such materials as steel, aluminum, stained glass, and colored light, these large-scale works enliven indoor and outdoor spaces around the world.
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