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Don't Knock The Rocks

Stone Field Downtown Sculpture Too Valuable To Alter

Hartford Courant Editorial

July 03, 2011

One of the preliminary ideas around the iQuilt plan, the proposed re-imaging of Bushnell Park as the nexus of downtown Hartford's arts and cultural institutions, is to alter Stone Field Sculpture, the unique and compelling piece of public art by Carl Andre. The thought was to perhaps rearrange the stones, and maybe add a water feature.

In a word, no. Let's take that notion off the table, deep-six it, consign it to the circular file. The iQuilt plan is a fine idea with great potential; it doesn't need to reconfigure a famous piece of public art to succeed. Stone Field was controversial when Mr. Andre installed it more than three decades ago, but over time Hartford has come to embrace its unusual, contemplative presence. "It is made of simple materials, and it addresses profound ideas," wrote Will K. Wilkins, executive director of Real Art Ways, in a recent opinion piece. He said the work is "an enduring reminder of the poetry possible in human creation." Plus, altering publicly funded art might not even be legal.

Hartford has lost too much of its physical past, too many treasures. Stone Field is unlike anything anywhere else, a sublime piece of artistic place-making, part of city history, a must-see in downtown. It stays, as is.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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