Gerald Cross’s Abstract Sculpture Returns to Speer Boulevard
Denver Arts & Venues is pleased to announce that Gerald Cross’s 1975 untitled geometric sculpture consisting of orange painted steel and blue plexiglass has returned to Speer Boulevard.
The sculpture was originally sponsored by The Park People and endorsed by Mayor William McNichols as part of the “Art in the City” initiative. The program’s primary goal was to enhance the aesthetics of Downtown Denver’s traffic islands through art such as sculpture and fountains.
“The Denver Public Art ordinance which sets aside 1% of large construction budgets for new public art wasn’t initiated until 1988. However, many pieces in the Denver Public Art collection are much older than that,” said Ginger White, Denver Arts & Venues executive director. “It wasn’t unusual for the City and County of Denver to commission artwork to beautify our public spaces prior to formalizing the program in 1988.”
Previously located at the intersection of Speer Boulevard and Colfax Avenue, the sculpture was recently rejuvenated and restored, and has been relocated on the Speer median between Larimer and Market streets. The restoration and reinstallation were completed Aug. 26 by Art Management & Planning Associates, Inc. Its new location brings it closer to St. Cajetan’s Church on Auraria campus which Cross helped renovate in 1975.
“Now this giant, perfectly ordered, tidy geometric expression will be surrounded by the imperfect messy real-life truth we live of traffic, pedestrians, bicyclists, traffic lights, trees, grass and sunshine,” said Cross’s daughter Catherine Bauers. “To my father, patterns of math imbued every one of these things.”
“We’ve been so excited to see the progress made on our dad’s sculpture,” said daughter Eliza Cross. “He would be so pleased with the restoration and the care with which Denver Public Art has approached every aspect of this project.”
The iconic sculpture is characteristic of Cross’s style, combining mathematics and art, meticulous and linear yet playful. His two- and three-dimensional work was known for fusion of the rigorous, angular and ordered aspects of geometry with the whimsy and imagination of bright colors and design.
Its new location in the Speer median will draw fresh attention to this historic Denver piece as it will be visible by both north and southbound travelers.
“Having this sculpture restored and relocated to serve as part of the gateway to downtown means that others will get to share in what our father saw and taught,” continued Bauers. “It means that his vision of ‘geometry as an art form’ will welcome a new generation of thinkers and visionaries to our fair Queen City.”