Popsicle and Bean

Urban Bubble

Sounds like some funky hipster gourmet recipe, but it is public art instead. Photos later, when I see it for myself.

Millennium Park, home of iconic pieces of public art such as "Cloud Gate" and the video gargoyles of Crown Fountain, will offer yet another cool installation this winter -- a multicolored wall of ice, 95 feet long, with abstract patterns and shards of ice jutting out.
From afar, the 13-foot-tall sheets of brilliantly hued ice will look like a giant canvas of contemporary art. From close up, visitors can watch the pigments interact with the crystal ice structures, changing as parts of the wall evaporate, melt and freeze again.

Plans for the installation by Canadian artist Gordon Halloran, who was commissioned for similar work during the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games, will be unveiled Thursday. But in an interview Wednesday he discussed the paradox of his artwork -- keeping it intact while allowing nature to take its course.

The installation, called "Paintings Below Zero," will open Feb. 1 and be on display through the month. It will be kept mostly frozen by chilled glycol running through aluminum panels that make up the core of the wall. Pigmented sheets of ice, created offsite, will be suspended from the metal panels.
[From 'Bean' to get a companion: The 'Popsicle']

Some years, February is the coldest month.

Self Portrait Yellow
Over the course of the display, Halloran plans to bring in different plates of colored ice, keeping his painting evolving and fresh.

Nature also contributes, literally and metaphorically, to the fluidity.

As the surface evaporates, pigments migrate to the exterior, altering the crystal structure and creating new patterns. Snowflakes can add new dimensions.

Adding a coat of warmed clear water can polish the surface. Cooled water can freeze or seal in a newly created pattern.

Visitors "are going to see ice in a way they've never seen it before," said Halloran, 60, of Vancouver.


Update: some photos here

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on November 1, 2007 6:47 PM.

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