Day 436 - Fort Lauderdale
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According to art critic Todd Wilkinson, Sailfish in Three Stages Ascending is the largest wildlife sculpture in the world. Created by Swedish-born sculptor Kent Ullberg, this amazing fountain sculpture sits outside the Broward County Convention Center. The work is enormous; the black-granite wave foundation is 150 by 125 feet, six feet high on one end, sloping two feet below ground level on the other. The focal point is a bronze sailfish that rises thirty-six feet above the pool and appears to be supported by a spray of water. Ullberg’s innovative sequenced use of the water creates an illusion of forward movement. Ullberg describes his art as “a three-dimensional paradigm of the Florida marine environment. Conceptually it appears as though a wedge has been cut from the ocean and lifted onto land.” You can read more about Kent Ullberg on Day 375 in Omaha where we visited one of his sculptures that I think is even bigger than Sailfish in Three Stages.
Duane Hanson is another Swedish-American sculptor who is much associated with Florida. Shoppers, tourists and sunbathers were some of the subjects of this hyper-realistic pop sculptor. Born in Minnesota, Duane Hanson (1925-1996) was an art teacher at the U.S. Army Dependent School System in Germany when he started experimenting with synthetic moulds from bodies to make three-dimensional life-size sculptures that he painted and accessorized to make them look realistic. After working in Atlanta and in New York, Hanson moved to Broward County in Florida where he also started working in bronze and making sculptures of clusters of people. The artist who always tried to “ennoble the commonplace, the ephemeral” was named “Florida Ambassador of the Arts” in 1983.
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