Located adjacent to Freedom Park in Atlanta GA is a piece of public art that exemplifies minimalism at its best – 54 Columns by famed artist Sol LeWitt. Walking through the installation, you certainly feel as if you are walking through an urban cityscape. While some disagree that it’s art, it definitely makes an impact. On this episode of Stories, Secrets and Sagas, walk with us through the 54 Columns and let us know what you think.
Fun Facts About 54 Columns
154 Columns was installed in Freedom Park in Atlanta GA in 1999.
2The Fulton County Arts Council commissioned this piece of public art.
354 Columns was named by “Art in America” magazine as one of the top 24 public arts projects in 2000.
4Sol LeWitt preferred using the term “structures” instead of “sculptures.”
5The 54 pillars are arranged in a triangular pattern that is meant to reference the Atlanta skyline and the urban environment in general.
Atlanta is a city of massive growth. Just try driving anywhere here on a Friday afternoon and you will see how busy it is. Traffic backs up along the highways and new construction is everywhere!
To some, this may be a nightmare. Speeding traffic, the sounds of construction equipment, buildings rising everywhere! But to others, there is inspiration and creativity…I speak of the artist Sol LeWitt and 54 Columns.
LeWitt was born on September 9th, 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut to a family of Jewish immigrants from Russia. Lucky for us, his mother appreciated art and took him to art classes at an early age.
As time went on that early spark of interest in art grew. He was influenced by his studies abroad and the works of the old masters of Europe. But, it was the New York experience that opened his eyes to the style and format he would eventually pursue…that being Conceptual and Minimalism art.
LeWitt rose to prominence in the late 1960s, creating what was known as wall drawings and “structures,” along with photography, drawing, printmaking and painting.
So, this leads us to a work he created in 1999 and it is called simply 54 Columns.
This work, here at Freedom Park just a short drive from downtown Atlanta, integrates art and architecture with 54 columns ranging in height from 10 to 20 feet. And, when it was being constructed, many did not understand the vision of LeWitt. Some even thought it was a construction site for a new building. But, LeWitt wanted the viewer to have interaction with this structure. Walking amongst the towering pieces gives the impression of being in the heart of a city. While standing a few yards away, you can envision a major cityscape, such as Atlanta.
To some, this piece isn’t art. But to many others it is minimalism at it’s best.