|Charles Albert Szukalski | Dr. Hugo Heyrman | Dre Peeters | David Spicer | Fred Bervoets |
Eames Demetrios | Sofie Siegmann | David Berg
||CHARLES ALBERT SZUKALSKI
Born April 4, 1945
Furth im Wald, PolandDied January 25, 2000,
Antwerp, Belgium The Last Supper 1984
Ghost Rider 1984
Desert Flower 1989
Known for many years in Europe as the sculptor of “ghosts” and a “situation maker,” Albert Szukalski came to
the Nevada desert in 1984 to create what is perhaps the most unique piece of his career. Originally designed
to endure a mere two years, “The Last Supper” sculpture has not only stood the test of time, but has lived on
to become the “genesis” piece of the Goldwell Open Air Museum.
Albert was attracted to the Mojave Desert for many reasons, not the least of which was the Mojave’s
resemblance to the deserts of the Middle East. To construct a modern day representation of Christ’s Last
Supper, especially so close to Death Valley (where he originally wanted it sited), is eerily appropriate. Working
essentially from Leonardo Da Vinci’s fresco of the Last Supper within the desert environment, Szukalski
succeeded in blending the two disparate elements into a unified whole. Maintaining the staging of the figures
in Leonardo’s work and placing it in the American Southwest allowed the artist to meld Western Artistic
tradition with the vast landscape of the New World. Albert Szukalski followed up “The Last Supper” with two
other pieces at the site, “Ghost Rider” in 1984 and “Desert Flower” in 1989. “Desert Flower” was destroyed in
a windstorm in 2007.
“Art helps the re-experiencing of forgotten things,” says Belgian artist Dr. Hugo, creator of “Lady Desert.” Using
cinderblocks to represent in real 3-D sculpture the pixels he uses in his virtual 2-D computer work, Dr. Hugo
has created a sculpture which at once refers back to classical Greek sculpture while maintaining a firm
presence in the highly technological/pixilated world of the 21st century.
“Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada” becomes then an example of a modern sculpture that helps us
re-experience and re-interpret a subject firmly rooted in the Western Fine Art tradition. The human figure,
especially the female, is as fresh today in Dr. Hugo’s sculpture, with its computer generated beginning, as it
was millennia ago in Greece.
b. December 27, 1948 Icara 1992
The Greek story of Icarus is the jumping off point for Dre Peeter’s wood sculpture “Icara,” Icarus as female.
The hot and sunny environment of the American Southwest is a natural location for a sculpture that takes as
its beginning the story of the headstrong youth who flew too close to the sun with wax wings, which
subsequently melted, plunging him back to earth. The Greek myth fits well into the dry desert reality; the
female form of “Icara,” arms/wings spread wide, eternally poised at the zenith of her flight, caught between the
earth below and the desert sky above.
USA Chained to the Earth 1992
Born May 12 1942 in Burcht (near Antwerp) Tribute to Shorty Harris 1994
Among the artists that have contributed work to the museum, probably the one who felt most out of place in the
desert was Belgian artist Fred Bervoets, appointed a Knight of the Order of Leopold II by the King in 1988. His
“portrait” sculpture of Shorty Harris (an early miner in Death Valley and its environs) and a penguin has elicited
countless questions. The miner makes sense, but why the Antarctic bird? Word has it that Bervoets wanted to
include in his sculpture an indication of how “alien” he felt in the Nevada desert. The penguin was the most
out of place entity the artist could think of to represent his own feelings of displacement under the Mojave sun,
a self-portrait then as a penguin in the desert.
Kymerican plaque, 2006Rhyolite’s District of Shadows
Principal of the Eames Office, filmmaker, author, design consultant, photographer, and creator of alternate
realities, Eames Demetrios uses his varied talents in much the same way his iconic grandparents Charles
and Ray Eames did, to communicate ideas through visual languages.
Eames Demetrios has worn a number of different hats since graduating from Harvard Film School, including
multimedia work, consulting, exhibition design, and ten years as director of the Eames Office, spearheading
the successful re-discovery of the Charles and Ray Eames design heritage by a new generation. He also
designed the Powers of Ten Interactive CD-ROM and the Powers of Ten Exhibition a traveling, site-specific
exhibition which went to 9 different museums in 3 countries.
His current large-scale project showcases yet another side of Demetrios work. Kymaerica is a multi-pronged
and ongoing reinterpretation of the North American landscape and has been underway for several years.
Manifestations include writings, video, performances, images, installation, limited edition prints, and more.
It may be the largest installation of environmental fiction in the world.
Born 1964 in Munich, GermanySit Here!
2000installed and restored at Goldwell in 2007
An accomplished painter and public artist, Siegmann left Europe and moved to the Bay Area. “Growing up in
Switzerland meant living in a small country. I sought adventure and moved to spacious California. The
sunlight, the lightheartedness of people driving everywhere in cars, and no rain for six months straight has
changed how I think and feel. I see colors and apply them onto the canvas: luminous, translucent and thick as
tar.” Siegmann was an artist-in-residence at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museumin Las Vegas in 2000.
Goldwell Board of Directors members Denise D’uarte, Jeanne Voltura, Charles Morgan, Christine Nottage,
and Suzanne Hackett-Morgan contributed to the redesign and restoration of the piece. Another restoration is
in the planning for 2012.