Sculptor hopes work stimulates dialogue
Internationally renowned sculptor Richard Serra was on
campus Nov. 10 for the dedication of his dramatic new
sculpture, "The Hedgehog and the Fox."
The sculpture, three ribbons of rust-colored steel,
stands 94 feet long and 15 feet high. It was erected between
Peyton and Fine halls and is a major contribution to the
University's well-known collection of modern outdoor
"It seems to be that one of the basic functions of art is
to enable us to acknowledge thought and perception in ways
that other things do not," Serra said at the dedication. "To
engage thought does not mean that the thought is contained
solely within the work itself, it also means that the
thought is contained within the dialogue that the work
engenders in relation to its place."
The sculpture was donated by Peter Joseph, a member of the
class of 1972 and the former chairman and chief executive
officer of the merchant banking firm Rosecliff Inc. Before
he died in 1998, Joseph, a New York art enthusiast, had
commissioned the $1 million sculpture for the University in
honor of his children, Danielle and Nicholas. They were
present at the ceremony, along with his wife, Wendy Evans
Joseph, and his mother, Ev Joseph.
The name of the sculpture refers to an essay by Isaiah
Berlin, who quotes from the Greek poet Archilochus: "The fox
knows many things but the hedgehog knows one great thing."
Serra explained, "It points to how scholars either become
free thinkers and invent or become subjugated to the
dictates of history. This is the classical problem posed to
Serra does not grind, polish or paint the metal used in
his sculptures, but allows them to rust and bear the scrapes
and scratches that occur during creation. His work is
displayed in leading galleries and museums across Europe and
the United States.
November 20, 2000
Vol. 90, No. 10
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