While it was not a requirement of the ReImagining Works commission I chose to have a subject inspiration as well as a style inspiration. I chose the Dayton architecture by Albert Pretzinger and his architectural firm as my subject inspiration to accompany my choice of Charles Sheeler's Stacks in Celebration as my style inspiration.
Albert Pretzinger’s work is iconic Dayton. Pretzinger' firm designed my favorite Dayton building; Memorial Hall. The exterior is imposing and causes viewers to wonder “What’s inside?” Drawn by that curiosity I've rented Memorial Hall for my team meetings several times and have been given the backstage tour of this grand building. Dayton has valuable architectural properties like Memorial Hall and many of them are due to Pretzinger and his firm over the years.
The two inspirations tie together nicely. They share an inspirational historical time, when grand visions of the future and the promise of industry were strong American cultural motivators. They come from a time when grand public edifices and substantial human creativity were creating big changes for America.
The Electra C. Doren branch building, having been designed by Pretzinger, represents the distinctive personality of its time, and makes a perfect setting for other Dayton architectural icons. I plan to make one of the sculptures include an image of the Electra C. Doren building.
Sheeler’s fractured images of smoke stacks and buildings were influenced by cubism where viewers actively collaborated with the artwork by assembling the multi-faceted view of what they saw into a whole experience. I’m proposing to dramatically simplify the lines of Pretzinger’s architecture into flat sculptural patterns, and to create a fractured sky behind them. This will, I hope, like Sheeler, create an engaging and collaborative viewing of the sculptures where viewers assemble the patterns of foreground and background cutouts into a whole and stimulating experience.