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Jene Highstein, Untitled (1987-1988)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
American artist Jene Highstein studied philosophy, painting, and drawing before turning to sculpture in the late 1960s. He began to carve stone sculptures in the 1980s, exploring new aspects of large rounded shapes, mounds, and spheres. The three massive monoliths (a single large stone often in the form of an obelisk or column) that form Untitled are carved of granite from a quarry in Pennsylvania. After shaping the stones, the artist scored their surfaces with a series of parallel grooves using a diamond-tipped circular saw, then chiseled out the stone between the saw cuts. The compact, rounded forms remind us of large rocks found in nature, yet they have clearly been shaped by the artist's hand. The sculpture suggests totems carved in homage to an ancient universe, or boulders cast down from the sky like meteorites. Highstein's abstract works are intended to provoke a range of associations regarding nature and culture, and he prefers that the viewer discovers his or her own meanings and interpretations.
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Type: Commentary, curriculum resource
Source: Text for Jene Highstein, Untitled (1987-1988), from the curriculum guide The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: A Garden for All Seasons, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1998.
Rights: Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009