Original Los Angeles County Museum of Art Entrance Sculpture
    "Space Sculpture" by Norbert Kricke 1964
    Photography by Ron Sterling, 1966

    The above fish eye photograph takes you right into the midst of an intersection of forces.

    A good friend of mine who was attending Otis Art Institute in LA in 1966 and I went on a 12 hour candid photography adventure through the MacArthur Park neighborhood and ending up at La Cienega Park, west of LACMA.

    It was as one of those classic, clear-sky, 70-degree days in LA. The city was vibrating with weekend warriors skateboarding, skating, jogging, cycling, and filling up the parks with laughter and sports. Samoans slamming some volleyball and some older folks taking on a team of soccer ball youngsters. The rules for one soccer game going on there included "you have to talk in Italian."

    Just after dusk, we hung out at the original entrance fountain to LACMA (1965) and I shot several black and white 35 mm film fish eye photographs. At night, with the lights emphazing the movement of the metal and the metal reflecting the movement of the water, the scene made a statement about the intersection and interaction of forces that was breath-taking. I have never viewed that piece in daylight, so I can't say that it would have had the same effect in a different light. I recently discovered my old files that contained this print, which I scanned. I still have the original 35 mm negatives, stored undamaged in plastic protective sleeves.

    I found information about the sculpture's history mostly told in an April 2015 article by Christopher Knight, the Arts Critic at the LA Times. I learned it had been replaced, and then later sold to the private Daimler Art Collection in 1989. It is displayed outside on the campus of Daimler's factory near Stuttgart. The daytime, more or less clinical photograph of it posted at Daimler's Art Collection website does not convey the kind of power that it revealed to my friend and I that night in 1966. Even LACMA's archives contain no photograph as revealing of the power of Kricke's piece as does this one.

    It is more than a little unsettling to learn that the LACMA board would have such a disrespect for the history of the original entrance to the museum to not have figured out a way to creatively position that fountain piece and maybe a partial facade of the original gallery exterior wall. Without that, viewers will only get some 2-D inadequate representation of the artistic history and the feelings associated with that modern sensibility. No modern impact, no light on the old glamor to help understand the new wave.

        Thank You for Visiting!

                 Best wishes! Ron Sterling

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