Public Art

The Way

By Alexander Libeman
Category: Sculpture


Composed on site in this open clearing in 1980, The Way has long stood as an acting symbol for the park, projecting in all directions like the guns of a giant battleship. This monumental work dominates the field; its scale is, in part, and meant to represent the awe-inspiring impact of classical Greek temples and mammoth Gothic-style cathedrals. The massive crumpled cylinders are welded together and placed to resemble a post and lintel architectural system. With numerous points of tension, this sacred pile of weighted geometry possesses shrine-like properties with humorous undertones, familiar to a failed game of Jenga. Discovered along the northeast coast, the eighteen salvaged steel oil tanks are a towering gateway built in the modernist spirit. Cadmium red was chosen for its symbolic qualities, representing beauty in Russian culture, and as a luminous abstract mixture that unifies all of the constructed parts of this work.  Liberman’s carefully placed industrial columns offer layered symbolism that combines site with compositional elegance and bold enthusiasm of form.

Courtesy of Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Dimensions: 65′ x 102′
Year Completed: 1972-80
Material: Salvaged steel oil tanks
Donor: Laumeier Sculpture Park commission with the support of Alvin J. Siteman

About the artist: