A Play in Stone
Trickle fountain in natural sandblasted concrete, 1972.
The trickle fountain stands in a rectangular pool. It is vertical, solid, composed of tall, square blocks of natural concrete. Most of us see the sculpture from the square between the HF building and the Sydneshaugen school, and it looks complete, a broad, split pillar with two circles of spaciously placed, stalactite-like stone formations. The concrete is full of pebbles, cut larger than shingle, giving the sculpture an added play of colors, textures and patterns.
Walking along the HF building from the parking lot gives you a different point of view. The sculpture consists of three vertical columns (not four, as you might think), and the V-formation gives a sense that we look into the “inner regions” of the sculpture when we view it from the side where there is no pillar.
They are turbulent inner regions. A number of the pin-shaped rocks are protruding in different directions. The apparent chaos is fascinating enough that we don’t mind taking a walk around the fountain, and that is when we discover the rhythmic play of the sculpture. The rock formations are more or less vertical in an upper circle and sticking out horizontally in a lower, but on the next side it is the opposite, in diagonals that go all the way around the sculpture. The fountain appears to be both symmetric and asymmetric, organic and organized.
Odd Tandberg (1924-) has belonged to the vanguard of Norwegian non-figurative art through more than half of the twentieth century. He attended the National College of Art and Design 1942-45, and went to the National Art Academy the following year. But to Tandberg, the Academy’s teachings on national art appeared outdated and quaint. Along with several others he formulated a petition in 1947, which has later been regarded as a Norwegian modernist manifesto. In the 1960s, Tandberg pioneered kinetic art in Norway, in addition to producing both Op art and plastic sculptures. He was among the first artists who were commissioned to decorate the University of Bergen, in 1969.
NORA SØRENSEN VAAGE