Two outdoor sculptures by Ronald Bladen are currently on view at the Katonah Museum of Art, in Katonah New York, through August of 2021.
Ronald Bladen (1918–1988), a pivotal figure of postwar American art, was regarded as an artistic forerunner by Minimalists like Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, and Carl Andre. But in contrast to the matter-of-fact work of these artists, Bladen’s sculptures are charged with emotional power. ‘Grand’, ‘singular’ and ‘iconic’ are among the words used to describe Ronald Bladen’s sculptures. ‘Transcendent’ is another and perhaps more apt. Bladen’s work combines scale, geometry, and architectural form in an exchange between matter and spirit.
Flying Fortress of 1974-1978 was created for an international competition that included entries by Richard Serra and Claes Oldenburg. Flying Fortress was commissioned to stand in front of the engineering school at the University of Düsseldorf. At the time, Bladen wrote tellingly of Flying Fortress:
The motivation of this form was to produce the illusion of a stationary object moving through space yet anchored to the earth. Not to give one that much time to dwell on it but more to feel as it rushes by. There is a front and a back and two sides but only one direction.
Host of the Ellipse of 1981, the second work on view, is notable for the difference between its two elements. Executed in steel and painted semi-gloss black, blade-like arms extend outwards, dramatically defying gravity. Bladen referred to the units as “two dancers.” The vertical and horizontal projections remind us that modern dance influenced Bladen’s sculptures throughout his career.
A video tour of these works, narrated by Michael Gitlitz, Executive Director of the KMA, can be viewed online. The works can be seen in person on the museum grounds located at 134 Jay Street - Route 22, Katonah, NY 10536.
For sales inquiries, and a list of other Ronald Bladen works available, please contact Loretta Howard Gallery: firstname.lastname@example.org.