Houston: Rice University’s Public Art program announced today that it has acquired four original works by women artists. This spring, sculptures by Natasha Bowdoin, Shirazeh Houshiary, Beverly Pepper, and Pae White will be installed in various locations at Rice’s campus. Pepper’s work will be posthumously installed; the artist died in 2020.
“We are honored to add these extraordinary works to the Rice public art collection and are proud to highlight innovative women artists,” states Alison Weaver, the Suzanne Deal Booth Executive Director of Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts. “We look forward to the ways these unique installations will engage students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors in the spaces where they study, learn, live, work, and spend time.”
Bowdoin’s Power Flower (image at top of this page) is a site-specific installation commissioned by Rice University’s department of Facilities, Engineering and Planning. It will be installed in the central hallway of the renovated M.D. Anderson Biology Building. Via Rice: “The work, an immersive large-scale installation of brightly colored, cut and painted organic forms, calls forth an unruly garden, teeming with life.”
Shirazeh Houshiary’s Seif is described as “a tower constructed from colored glass bricks, twisting in a helix-like form to a height of more than ten feet, an homage to the light and ever-changing colors of the Texas sky and an acknowledgement of the man-made world that surrounds us.” Seif will be installed on the lawn of the new Sid Richardson College.
Beverly Pepper’s steel monolith Occam’s Wedge, named for William of Occam, the English Franciscan friar best known for the problem-solving principle Occam’s razor, will will be posited adjacent to Brockman Hall for Opera on the university’s campus. The steel sculpture’s acquisition was made possible by Rice University’s percent-for-art program, the Shepherd School of Music, the Booth Art Preservation Fund, Shahla and Hushang Ansary, and Franci Neely.
The fourth work, Pae White’s Triple Virgo, 2021, is a hanging sculpture for the rotunda of McNair Hall in Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. It is ink on polished and electroplated stainless steel elements, and cable. Via Rice: “Responding to the existing architecture, ambient light, and the relationship between the elements and the viewer, colorful disks suspended from the ceiling form a dynamic, ever-changing sphere.”
Rice Public Art quotes White, who states: “My hope is that the artwork will reference a globe in flux, a globe where nothing is solidified or congealed — a colorful, shifting sphere of excitement, intrigue and agility. Surprise blushes of color and unexpected pattern groupings that change depending upon one’s viewing position reference a world of rewarding mysteries and surprises; a world worth exploring.”
White’s Triple Virgo commission is made possible by the Jones Graduate School of Business.
Rice Public Art has begun the installation process and all works will be available for viewing starting May 1, 2021.