Printer Friendly

Pro or con? Utah's big new sculpture.

Pro or con? Utah's big new sculpture

It rises like . . . well, like what? Karl Momen's two-month-old, 70-foot-tall addition to the Bonneville Salt Flats, The Metaphor, almost defies metaphor itself. Intended to resemble a tree, it may also resemble the Christmas ornaments of the giants, a landing marker for benign and festive aliens, or a mirage that might appear if you'd spent too many miles on Interstate 80 without coffee.

Swedish sculptor Momen got the idea while crossing the Great Salt Lake Desert on I-80. Most travelers see the alkaline landscape as an obstacle to be sped across as quickly as possible; Momen saw it as a vast potential canvas.

His creation took two years and $1 million (mostly his own) to finish. The towering concrete trunk rests on pilings driven 90 feet into the desert; the largest of its six concrete spheres is 13 1/2 feet in diameter.

Opinions of the work? Varied. Some critics regard it as an unfortunate invasion of the desert, others as a sophisticated piece of environmental art. One Salt Lake City columnist threatened to hire a Utah sculptor to build an oversize Swedish meatball near Stockholm. But most Utahans seem to regard Metaphor as, at least, an intriguing addition to the state.

You can form your own opinion as you drive I-80 in daytime (night lights won't be added until October). Metaphor stands to the north of the highway, 95 miles west of Salt Lake City, 26 miles east of Wendover. There's no real turnoff or turnaround, but it's hard to miss.

Photo: Artist Karl Momen stands before his Metaphor at dedication. Each concrete sphere is covered with crushed colored rock
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Sunset
Date:Apr 1, 1986
Words:277
Previous Article:Architectural "tasting" in the Napa-Sonoma wine country; many new wineries are worth a visit for their building style alone. Here's how to plan a...
Next Article:A comeback for San Francisco's small, historic hotels.
Topics:


Related Articles
UNIQUEST'S CASHIER(R) SYSTEM SELECTED BY CON EDISON AND SALT LAKE COUNTY
Coconino to Market Works of Award-Winning Sculptor
Gravimetric feeding plus profile control yields ultimate blown film uniformity.
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH.
A FIT AMONG THESE POTENTIAL SUITORS?
Grass-roots pressure kills Ohio constitutional-convention resolution.
The Making of George Segal's Gay Liberation.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters