A whimsical contemporary sculpture will debut at the Timken Museum on Friday for the institution’s annual summer counterpoint to its collection of European old masters.
“Each summer, the Timken welcomes a contemporary artist to its residency program, one who explores art in a new, creative and unique way,” said Executive Director Megan Pogue. “This year, we are fortunate to have acclaimed American sculptor Roman de Salvo who will present his own brand of electricity to the public.”
The inspiration for de Salvo’s work is a classic French painting from around 1775 — “Blindman’s Buff” by Jean Honoré Fragonard.
“I was drawn to the schematic sort of way Fragonard painted the tree limbs and foliage in the painting at the Timken,” said de Salvo. “I wanted to do an homage to Fragonard’s trees as a full-scale sculpture, modularly constructed according to the logic of bifurcation.”
Visitors to the museum have watched de Salvo build his sculpture throughout the month of June. He surrounded it with large wooden benches so people could sit and watch him work. It will be officially completed on Friday.
The artist, who lives in San Diego, is known for his inventive use of ordinary materials and objects animated by wind, water, fire, electricity and audience participation.
A number of his large-scale works are located here, including “The Riparium” in Seaport Village, “Utility Filigree” at the downtown location of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and “McCairns” marking the entrance to Bird Rock.
A special lecture by de Slavo is scheduled for Monday, July 8, at 10 a.m.
“Electric Picnic” will be on display from June 28 through Aug. 25. The museum in Balboa Park is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission is always free.
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