City On The Hill

Last month I went to Elysian Park and stumbled across Peter Shire’s installation in honor of its protectors Frank Glass and Grace E. Simons. Shire, a local Echo Park resident who also designed LACMA’s American art reading area and information kiosk, has unmistakably recognizable work, with its stark industrial forms and whimsical shapes and colors.

Taken from the viewpoint on the path leading toward the installation, the shapes of the columns bear a striking resemblance to the streamlined landscape in the background. The installation encapsulates a palm tree as one of its columns; to me it’s a work that defines Los Angeles as a metropolis built among its natural geography. Atop Angels Point, the hills, valleys, and man-made constructions are all within sight. The chairs Shire designed underneath the installation command panoramic views of Dodger Stadium, the downtown skyline, and the Hollywood Hills in the distance-a well-commemorated spot for taking in L.A.’s urban and natural vistas.

Devi Noor – The LACMA Blog

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