Saturday, August 23, 2008

Depth Perception

I've always thought optical illusions are a pretty cool thing, but while it's one thing to manufacture them in drawings, it's another entirely, it seems to me, to enshrine them in sculpture. Here's a piece outside the McNay Museum in San Antonio that appears to have a great deal of depth when viewed from the vantage point of the museum:


Here's the view from the opposite side:


However, here's a side view that shows to what extent the depth you see from the front and back is mostly illusory:

I thought that was a pretty neat piece: the eye projects a lot more depth and complexity to the sculpture depending on your perspective. Here's another remarkable sculpture from the McNay - this one, if I'm not mistaken, from the late Austin sculptor Charles Umlauf set in the museum's fabulous courtyard:

2 comments:

Annie in Austin said...

What's the right word? Edition? Copy? Anyway, that sculpture also resides at the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens in Austin, called War Mother. The McNay Museum has been on our list of places we want to go and your post may remind me to go there soon. Thank you!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

SC Southpaw said...

That metal sculpture looks alot like Seans painting.

Email me sometime

randerson@naiavant.com