RENOWNED SCULPTOR DONALD LIPSKI CREATES DOWN PERISCOPE FOR HOUSTON’S BUFFALO BAYOU PARK
May 10, 2016
HOUSTON (May 10, 2016) – New York artist Donald Lipski’s much-anticipated installation Down Periscope, which sits atop the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, is now open to the public. Through Down Periscope, park visitors are able to peer into the 87,500-square-foot expanse, dubbed the Cistern, and its 25-foot tall, slender concrete columns that stand row-upon-row.
Commissioned by Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) in partnership with the City of Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering, the seven-foot Down Periscope is housed in a covered stainless steel arbor (soon to be covered in jasmine), creating a shady, welcoming space for experiencing the installation.
The site is a former City of Houston underground drinking water reservoir and has been renovated by Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) with a grant from The Brown Foundation, as a public space which will also house temporary, environmental art installations. The interior view of the Cistern is accessible online at www.downperiscopehouston.com, allowing the entire world to see inside a modern archeological find.
“When I visited the park, I had an entirely different idea in mind for a sculpture. But then I learned about the Cistern,” said the artist Lipski. “I was able to descend into this mysterious, subterranean treasure. Its grandeur, utilitarian structure, symmetry and majesty astounded me. The idea of a periscope sprung to mind. Usually, as an artist, I’m making a thing to look at, to experience. Here, the thing is the Cistern. I’ve merely made a tool.”
Because of the website, thousands of people will also be able to visit the Cistern and future installations remotely and see the treasures within, Lipski added.
Originally from Chicago, Lipski is known for his enigmatic, poetic sculptures, often made from common, recognizable objects. His sculptures have been shown in galleries and museums around the world as well as in public spaces. Lipski’s public art pieces can be found in other Texas cities including F.I.S.H., Riverwalk, San Antonio (2009); Intimate Apparel and Pearl Earrings, Fort Worth Convention Center (2005); and The Cloud, just completed in El Paso. His work is in the permanent collections of dozens of major museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, and in Houston at The Menil Collection and the Museum of Fine Art, Houston.
“Donald Lipski is a visionary artist, and his work truly activates this beautiful public space,” said HAA President + CEO Jonathon Glus. “The technology being utilized as part of his installation literally brings a forgotten part of Houston’s history into the 21st century. Donald is bridging the past with the future in a simply brilliant way.”
Buffalo Bayou Partnership President Anne Olson said that compelling and visually interesting public art continues to be a priority for the organization. “Lipski’s Down Periscope is a unique way to see the ‘hidden’ Cistern and will become a destination all on its own,” she said.
Funding for this civic art project was derived through the 1.75% civic art allocation from the eligible Capital Improvement Program (CIP) through the City of Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering.
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