PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Philadelphias latest public art project, "Wave Forms," designed by internationally acclaimed artist Dennis Oppenheim, will be dedicated May 23rd, 2007, at the newly-constructed Domus www.domuspa.com luxury apartments, 3401 Chestnut Street. Wave Forms was commissioned by Houston-based developer The Hanover Company www.hanoverco.com and strategic partner MetLife, Inc., under the guidelines of the Redevelopment Authority Public Art Program. Oppenheim was chosen as the project artist after an intensive national search, including review of numerous submissions and presentations by four short-listed artists. The selection of Oppenheim was made by representatives of The Hanover Company and members of the Redevelopment Authority Public Art Committee.
"Wave Forms" is monumental in size, incorporating the entire 20,000 square foot plaza and courtyard of Domus at the corner of 34th and Chestnut Streets. In March, the framework of six "bells" the largest 34 high and 22 feet in diameter at the base and composed of aluminum and mesh, was installed in the plaza and courtyard. The completed "Wave Forms" is a fully integrated environment, incorporating lighting, hardscape and landscape in patterns of soundwaves, as well as the "bells," to be eventually enveloped in foliage.
The bell forms, weighing a total of eight and a half tons, were fabricated in California and traveled by trailer for over four weeks. They were installed via crane and multiple lifts by a co-operative team from La Paloma Associates and the Glaziers Local 252, District Council 21 union from the National Glass and Metal Contractors association. The budget for Wave Forms, including site preparation, foundation, hardscape, landscape and lighting, the bells fabrication, transportation, installation and all fees, was $1 .4 million.
According to The Hanover Companys Brandt Bowden, "The Hanover Company is pleased to welcome Dennis Oppenheim's 'Wave Forms' to Philadelphia's extraordinary collection of public artworks, as an exciting, integral component of Domus and the larger University City District."
Oppenheim was born in Electric City, Washington in 1938 and was awarded his B.F.A. from the School of Arts and Crafts, and M.F.A. from Stanford University. He has received international attention for a body of conceptual artwork that includes performance, sculpture and photographs. In the early 1970s, Oppenheim was in the vanguard of artists using film and video as a means to investigate themes relating to body art, conceptual art and performance. In a series of works produced between 1970 and 1974, Oppenheim used his own body as a site to challenge the self: he explored the boundaries of personal risk, transformation and communication through ritualistic performance actions and interactions.
Oppenheim has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has exhibited his works internationally in galleries and museums including the Tate Gallery, London; stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and the Joseph Helman Gallery, New York. He has been commissioned by many venues including Ballerup Kommune, Copenhagen; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Olympic Park, South Korea. He lives in New York.
The Hanover Company, located in Houston, Texas, stands among the most active private real estate companies in the United States, specializing in the development of high quality multi-family residential properties across the nation. With over twenty-five years experience and an award-winning portfolio of residential high-rise, mid-rise, mixed use and suburban projects, Hanover is focused on nationwide strategic growth through careful planning of its development pipeline and synergistic partnerships. Current developments are underway in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston.
In 1959 the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia adopted the first "One Percent for Public Art" program in the United States, thus making the commissioning of works of public art integral to the urban renewal process. For each project built on land acquired from and assembled by the RDA, the selected developer must budget no less than one percent of the total building construction costs towards the commissioning of original, site-specific works of public art. To date, over 400 public art projects have been installed under the Fine Arts program. The most recently completed RDA Fine Arts projects are "Firefly" by R.M. Fischer (PNC Bank Operations Center); "Wissahickon: Reflections" by Diane Burko, "Heliotrope" by James Lloyd, "World Park" by Ned Smyth (all three at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel, 12th and Market Streets); "Floating World" by Ava Blitz (Science Center, 36th and Market Streets); "Open-Air Aquarium" by Magdalena Abakanowicz (Penns Landing); "To Balance" by Larry Kirkland (Community College of Philadelphia); "Plateau" by Andrea Blum (University of Pennsylvania) and "Goldilocks" by Ming Fay (Franklin Town).