This sculpture, created by artist Betty Gold, was brought to Purdue by the University Visual Arts Committee. It was installed in 1987 and has moved to various locations around campus. Kaikoo VI is an abstract sculpture of bisecting rectangles, triangles, and half-circles (both positive and negative shapes). It is constructed from cold-rolled steel and painted red.
Installation of the maquettes from the Kaikoo Series has been completed, and Betty Gold will visit the campus to attend a formal presentation and to give a lecture to the students of the Visual Arts Department sometime in the Fall of 2016.
"These 17 painted steel maquettes, inspired by the Kaikoo high tides near Diamond Head in Hawaii, were created by world renowned artist Betty Gold and generously donated to the Orange County School of the Arts in 2015"
On loan by the artist to HVL Interiors, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Artist Betty Gold’s shimmering sculpture “Holistic 138” is currently being featured in the Summer Group Exhibition at FP Contemporary. Gold is an internationally recognized geometric-abstract sculptor and painter widely known for her large, steel sculptures.
“I’ve been asked many times to explain my art, but don’t think that there is an explanation, as such. I can say, however, that I began with the human figure and ended up with geometry, which I love. It’s not an easily understood transition, or even one that I fully comprehend. Suffice to say that I don’t think it will shed more light going beyond Picasso’s simple but profound reflection that ‘It’s the leap of the imagination.’
With the exception of some photographic work, everything I have done for the major part of my career has been based on a geometric concept. It never becomes tiresome and I continue to find new ways in which to express its truth and universality. Every new project is like the first: challenging, fulfilling and exciting.”
Gold was born in 1935 in Austin, Texas. She attended the University of Texas with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Art History. After completing her studies, she entered the tutelage and apprenticeship of sculptor Octavio Medillan in Dallas, Texas in the late 1950’s. Since then, she has traveled the world extensively, studying and lecturing. Inspired by the cultures she has observed throughout her years of travel, her geometric sculptures resemble paper origami despite their steel construction. Although her large-scale outdoor sculptures appear to have come into existence effortlessly, they can weigh in the range of thousands of pounds to seven tons.
Gold creates paper and cardboard models at her studio in Venice, CA and while she travels. Once a model is commissioned to be created in large scale, she begins each sculpture with rectangular sheets of steel, which she deconstructs into geometric shapes and then reconstructs by welding the pieces together with intention. The thickness of the steel depends on the height of each sculpture. The sculptures represent duality and contrast. Gold feels that she is feminine, while the geometric nature of her creations is more masculine. “It could be male-female, but it doesn’t have to have that connotation. It could be yin-yang, or positive-negative. It is two sides and two points of view to any situation. It’s a balanced feeling within yourself”, says Gold.
Gold turned the male-dominated sculpture world “on its head” by winning countless public arts commissions beginning in the early 1970’s. She became associated with MADI, an international abstract art movement, which she claims opened many doors for her. In 2005, Gold was honored with a major retrospective exhibition at the Casal Solleric Museum, a historic castle in Palma, Spain on the island of Mallorca. Exhibitions featuring the work of Columbian artist Fernando Botero and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo graced the same castle following Gold’s retrospective exhibition.
Gold’s sculptures are placed both outdoors in year-round environments as well as interior environments. Whether large scale or on a smaller scale, her sculptures have a timeless sensibility and a resounding impact. Gold loves to create site-specific commissions for each client’s individual needs. These commissioned sculptures range from four to twenty eight feet in height and are painted in various colors or sometimes remain unpainted for a more organic expression.
In 2014, Gold was presented with the prestigious XAM award. She is the 13th recipient of the Premi Xam d’Arts Plàstiques (Xam Award of Plastic Arts), an award created as homage to the memory of Mallorcan artist Pedro Quetglas Ferrer “Xam” who passed away in 2001.
While Betty Gold turned 81 in February 2016, her career has never lost momentum in the approximately 50 years she has worked as a professional sculptor and painter.
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In an industry traditionally dominated by male artists, it is refreshing and, in some instances, rare to discover art made by women. Today we are taking a look at sculptural work by contemporary female artists, as sculpture is a medium that is often associated with masculinity. In the past few years, various exhibitions have surfaced that feature solely female sculptors. Exhibitions like these challenge more traditional shows, which often inadvertently exclude female artists, and showcase a wide array of sculptures and sculptors.
Magdalena Sawon, owner and curator of Postmasters in New York, curated the 2014 exhibition This is What Sculpture Looks Like. Sawon says of the show, which featured sixteen contemporary female sculptors:
“We really wanted to talk about the medium, and viewers are free to make the connection that the market that privileges painting over sculpture also privileges male artists over female artists…We tried to go against the gender cliche where Richard Serra makes massive sculptures and women make these cute little things.”
Sawon makes an important observation about the contemporary art market. Not only do artistic tastes of today favor painting over sculptural work, but women artists are often overlooked.
Polly Bielecka, director of Pangolin London, says of the gallery’s 2011 exhibition, Women Make Sculpture:
“It became very apparent that there is an amazing wealth of creativity there from women artists, and it is not being celebrated. This show is about saying, ‘Wake up everyone, why have you forgotten them?'”
Chapman’s Art Collections has been making a conscious effort of our own to include and showcase female artists, in exhibitions, on display, and in our recent acquisitions. We have several outdoor sculptures created by women.
A popular and highly visible piece on campus is Roslyn Mazilli‘s OBID (Oh Boy I’m Dancing), located between on the lawn between Oliphant and Roosevelt Halls. Her aluminum and steel pieces are dynamic and colorful, and this sculpture is no different. Some of our most recent sculpture acquisitions include a collection of pieces by artist Betty Gold. These steel sculptural pieces follow her usual designs of bold, clean lines and geometric definition. Located on and around the Hutton Sports Center, these sculptures are some of the most notable on campus.
It is important to recognize the contributions of female artists to a genre like sculpture, which is typically seen as a masculine form of art. Yet, there are women artists, including Roslyn Mazilli and Betty Gold, who choose to work with heavy, more “macho” materials like steel and aluminum. This is indicative of change in the art world, and how in the past few decades of contemporary sculpture there as been a shift not only towards more female artists but also a shift of attention towards these artists and their contributions. As contemporary female sculptor Polly Morgan says, “It’s about looking at the women making sculpture, because we haven’t seen enough of them.”
By Nadia Hayford
Sculptor Betty Gold may work from basic geometric forms, but the end result of her pieces is nothing short of complex and multidimensional. Born in Austin, Texas and currently based in Venice, California, Gold has had a long and exciting career. At eighty years of age, she still creates work today. We are lucky to have a few of her works in our Escalette Collection here at Chapman. Most recently, we had three of her studies on display at Paths and Edges, the Escalette Collection’s five year anniversary show. Most Chapman students will likely recognize Colgado II, the white sculpture that hangs on the outside of the Hutton Sports Center. Gold’s work has a strong presence and is often hard to ignore!
Betty Gold’s journey to becoming an artist was not a straight path. She initially studied at University of Dallas with a major in elementary education. She was also involved in beauty pageants in her youth, even snagging the title of Miss Texas. Gold married, adopted a daughter, got divorced, then got remarried to a dress manufacturer. By modeling for her husband’s clothing line, she was able raise enough money to go back to school to take art history, painting and sculpture classes. After she was finished with school, Gold shared a studio with five other women, and aggressively created as much work as she could. At the age of 35, Gold had her first solo show. Since the 1970s, Gold has had her work in galleries, museums and permanent collections all around the world.
Although Gold began her career working with the human figure, she discovered quite early on that she much preferred working in geometric forms:
Though geometric structures can easily feel rigid, Gold manages to use geometry in a way that gives it plenty of personality. She is inspired by abstract sculptors that include a more playful element to their work, such as Pablo Picasso, Barbara Hepworth, and Alexander Calder. Gold’s geometric style may seem similar to minimalism, but there is something more organic and personal about Gold’s work. For this reason, Gold is often associated more with the MADI art movement.
Gold is constantly inspired by her surroundings and her travels. She fell in love with Mallorca, Spain and has created plenty of work reflect her love for the Spanish island. The titles of her work often communicate what she intends to express (for example, Colgado means “hanging” in Spanish). She was inspired to work in three dimensions when she observed two flat paintings leaning against each other in her studio. She loved how the brightly colored shapes balanced off each other, and began working in steel to bring her visions to life.
Unlike some conceptual artists, Gold is involved in every part of the process to create her large steel sculptures. First she folds paper to create a basic design. Then, she creates models from cardboard and glue and studies them from every angle. Finally, she cuts flat shapes of steel and assembles them into the final three dimensional product. Gold’s process defies gender stereotypes. In a sense, the industrial nature of cutting her own steel is a very masculine action. But Gold also sees a sense of femininity in how she creates her work – she compares the cutting of steel to when she used to sew her own clothes in her youth, and she still manages to approach her work with a delicate touch.
The result of Gold’s work is a collection of forms that speak their own language. Much of Gold’s work is best viewed outside, as the acute shadows they cast change throughout the day creating different interpretations. Through the heavy material, she is still able to create a sense of weightlessness and movement. There is a sense of order, but also a sense of disjointedness in the unique structures. Although Gold puts a lot of herself into her work, the viewer is also able to put themselves into the narrative and form their own readings.
Next time you see Betty Gold’s work on campus, take a moment to observe the captivating dance of her geometric sculptures!
From October 7 to November 1 the exhibition “Betty Gold: Edge, Color, Movement” will be on view at Mary Baldwin College’s Hunt Gallery. Gold’s creative works include a diverse range of media. Organized by the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University in New York, “Edge, Color, Movement” features a selection of her geometric serigraphs (silkscreen prints). These works are from three portfolios produced in California in the early 1970s “Arrows,” “Holistic Images,” and “Surprise Packages.” Gold’s artwork is defined by brilliant color and strong directional shapes. The serigraphs featured in this exhibition accentuate the bold, graphic style for which Gold is known, and they reflect her interest in form, motion, and space.
Gold’s large-scale steel sculptures grace public and private spaces all over the world and Mary Baldwin is proud to have three of them on its campus. The most recent one to become part of the college’s collection is a gracious gift from Gold to the school: a four-part Corten steel sculpture entitled “Chodo IX” that will be installed in mid-September near the entrance to Francis Auditorium.
Gold’s sculptures are angular and sharp without sacrificing a sense of movement and liveliness. With surfaces finished in rich mono-chromed color or left raw to rust to a velvety patina, the bold simplicity of her geometric work is beautifully suited for display in open public spaces. Gold’s sculptures are featured at sculpture parks, university campuses, and city centers such as Baylor University in Texas; City de Bratislava, Slovakia; City of Palo Alto, California; Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina; Fitzgerald’s Park, Ireland; Hartwood Acre Park in Pennsylvania; Northern Illinois University in Illinois; Purdue University in Indiana; The Ronald Reagan California State Building in California; Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond; and the Walker Hill Art Center in Seoul, South Korea.
With her home and studio in Venice, California, Gold has traveled extensively, studying and lecturing around the world. Her work has been collected and widely exhibited at museums and galleries across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. Gold was born in 1935 in Austin, Texas, and attended the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating with a major in elementary education and a minor in art history, she apprenticed with sculptor Octavio Medillan in Dallas. Medillan (1907–1999) was a renowned sculptor, educator, and founder of the Medellin School of Sculpture in Mendocino, California, where he taught students in a variety of sculptural media.
Gold was honored with a major retrospective exhibition in 2005 at the Casal Solleric Museum in Palma, Spain. “Betty Gold — 35 Years of Sculpture” filled 10 rooms of the historic castle. Other artists presented at the Casal Solleric Museum include Columbian artist Fernando Botero (b. 1932) and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907–1954). Recent international exhibitions were mounted at the United States Embassy Invitational in Merida, Mexico; the Biennale in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and three exhibitions in California at the University of California Art Museum, Santa Barbara, The Buschlenmowatt Gallery, Palm Desert, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Major museums housing her work include the Albuquerque Museum of Art, Art Museum of South Texas; Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama; Civica Galleria d’ Arte Moderna, Gallarate, Italy; Georgia Museum of Art; Hawaii State Foundation of the Arts, Hawaii; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina, Madrid, Spain; New Orleans Museum of Art; New York University; the Oakland Museum; and the Palm Springs Desert Museum.
A reception will be held for the artist from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on October 7 in Hunt Gallery. The public is invited to attend. Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday during the college’s academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2013–2014 academic year can be found online.
Betty Gold will also give a public talk about her life and work at 7:30 p.m. on October 8 in Francis Auditorium.
March 13 – September 11, 2011
Betty Gold’s sculptures grace public and private spaces all over the world. Her creative works include a diverse range of media. Edge, Color, Movement features a selection of her geometric serigraphs. These works are from three portfolios produced in California in the early 1970s “Arrows,” “Holistic Images” and “Surprise Packages.” Also featured is the recently acquired welded steel mono-chromed sculpture Majestad II (2004-2005), a gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Chatkin of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. This vivid blue work provides a stunning outdoor focal point for the south-west corner of the museum entrance.
Gold’s artwork is defined by brilliant color and strong directional shapes. The serigraphs featured in this exhibition accentuate the bold, graphic style that Gold is known for and they reflect her interest in form, motion and space. She is a passionate believer in the geometric concept and says, “It never becomes tiresome, as I continue to find new ways in which to express its truth and universality. Every new project is like the first—challenging, fulfilling and exciting.”
Her large outdoor steel sculptures are angular and sharp without sacrificing a sense of movement and liveliness. With surfaces finished in rich mono-chromed color or left raw to rust to a velvety patina, the bold simplicity of her geometric work is beautifully suited for display in open public spaces. Gold’s sculptures are featured at sculpture parks, university campuses and city centers such as Baylor University, TX; City de Bratislava, Slovakia; City of Palo Alto, CA; Duke University Medical Center, NC; Fitzgerald’s Park, Ireland; Hartwood Acre Park, PA; Northern Illinois University, IL; Purdue University, IN; The Ronald Reagan California State Building, CA; Virginia Commonwealth University, VA and the Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, South Korea.
Dividing her time between Venice, California and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Gold has traveled extensively, studying and lecturing around the world. Her work has been collected and widely exhibited at museums and galleries across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.
Gold was born in 1935 in Austin, Texas, and attended the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating with a major in elementary education and a minor in art history, she apprenticed with sculptor Octavio Medillan in Dallas, Texas. Medillan (1907-1999) was a renowned sculptor, educator and founder of the Medellin School of Sculpture in Mendocino, California where he taught students in a variety of sculptural media.
Gold was honored with a major retrospective exhibition in 2005 at the Casal Solleric Museum in Palma, Spain. “Betty Gold—35 Years of Sculpture" filled ten rooms of the historic castle. Other artists presented at the Casal Solleric Museum include Columbian artist Fernando Botero (b. 1932) and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907 -1954).
Recent international exhibitions were mounted at the United States Embassy Invitational in Merida, Mexico, the Biennale in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and three exhibitions in California at the University of California Art Museum, Santa Barbara, The Buschlenmowatt Gallery, Palm Desert, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Major museums housing her work include the Albuquerque Museum of Art, NM; Art Museum of South Texas, TX; Birmingham Museum of Art, AL; Civica Galleria d’ Arte moderna, Gallarate, Italy; Georgia Museum of Art, AL; Hawaii State Foundation of the Arts, HI; Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina, Madrid, Spain; New Orleans Museum of Art, LA; New York University, NY; The Oakland Museum, CA and the Palm Springs Desert Museum, CA.
Michael J. Beam, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions
VAIL - Betty Gold, the artist who created Vail's Kaikoo III, was born in 1935 in Austin, Texas.
After earning a degree in elementary education and art history from the University of Texas, she was an apprentice to sculptor Octavio Medillan in Dallas. In 1990, Vail was fortunate to receive a monumental welded steel sculpture by Gold, from patrons and philanthropists David and Micki Chatkin of Pittsburgh, Pa. The Chatkins donate one of Gold's sculptures every year to a nonprofit organization of Gold's choice, and in 1990 she chose Vail's Art in Public Places.
A dedication ceremony took place in February of 1991 in conjunction with an exhibition of her paintings and maquettes (or working models for her larger scaled work) at the former gallery Arnesen Fine Arts in Lionshead.
Kaikoo III is one sculpture in a series of 17 works inspired by a trip to Hawaii. In a recent telephone conversation, Gold talked the trip that was pivotal to her work.
She was unable to enjoy the water activities and snorkeling because of the "kaikoo," the Hawaiian word for high tide. Because she could not go in the water, she found a desk and began creating the maquettes that would become the 17 monumental steel sculptures in her Kaikoo series.
"I turned my energy into work,"Gold said.
Gold begins her work with the form of a simple rectangle and "cuts it up." She reassembles her divided rectangle into three dimensional working maquettes and the result is the dramatic, non-objective geometrical steel sculpture. The elements of her works are welded into one, creating a "holistic" monumental work. Bold in color, most of Gold's sculptures are painted in primary colors, occasionally in white or in their natural steel patina.
Gold's work is in hundreds of public and private collections around the world. Gold's sculptures may be found at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of art at Pepperdine University, the Duke University Medical Center, Baylor University, the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia, the Ronald Reagan California State Building, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea, the Albuquerque Art Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.
Gold currently lives in Venice, CA, and Palma de Mallorca, Spain and is working on sculptures for forthcoming international exhibitions.
Visit www.artinvail.com to see a calendar of dates for free guided art tours of Vail's public art collection.
Molly Eppard is Vail's art in public places coordinator. The Vail Daily is running weekly spotlights on public art in Vail over the next few months.
Art in Public Places Spotlight
Vail, CO Colorado
Betty Gold: “Color’form”
at Gebert Gallery, Venice, CA
Painter and sculptor Betty Gold takes science as the starting point for her lush geometrical abstractions. As she herself often notes, geometry means the measuring of the earth, and her primary structural foundation is the human body. In her naturalism, laws being derived from nature must therefore be universally applicable. Her precision atmospherics describe a kind of bridge between art and science, exploring sensuality and unique experience, while never losing sight of science’s basis in observed phenomena. Her paintings on canvas and paper tend to portray variations on a fluid choreography of translucent lily-pad-like slices, kaleidoscopic sound waves, and tidal cross-sections with very little spatial dimensions inside the picture plane in an explosion of scale a la “Fantastic Voyage.” Then again, Picos II (acrylic on handmade paper, 50 x 36 inches) could almost be a pine forest, or a parsed agrarian landscape. That’s the point of geometry—its conclusions can reliably be sustained across macro and micro matters.
Stately, but subtle with its yellow- and white-painted steel, Velas XII — inspired by the winsome sailboats breeze by Venice Beach — commands an appreciable space in the survey of artist Betty Gold’s sculptures and acrylic paintings at Gebert Gallery.
Her newest series, Velas reflects the sails’ grace and elegance in the simple, geometric fashion that has distinguished gold for 40 years.
At 76x24x12 inches, Velas XII invites more than imposes; the four beaming steel triangles that compose the sail offer a 360-degree experience. The sculpture gains its sense of movement from the inwardly angled pieces, each painted yellow on one side, white on the other.
Installed close to the gallery entrance, the piece signals a dynamic show ahead. They survey exhibition features sculptures from several series — most notably, Majestad, which honors the king and queen of Spain, and Tirón, inspired by the angular folds of a bullfighter’s cape. Gold started the Tirón sculptures in 1999 with a monumental installation for the city of Palma de Mallorca in Baleares, Spain. The U.S. Embassy in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava also commissioned a large piece from the series. Works from the Soller and M.A. (Mallorca) series also appear in the exhibition.
Gold revels in her transcendent, albeit ferociously physical process — from making paper models to splaying two-dimensional sheets of steel and reassembling them in three-dimensional forms. They appear simple, but on close examination reveal a complexity that bespeaks the artist’s intense organization and exacting process.
A willowy former beauty pageant winner with jet-black hair and a native Texas twang, Gold hardly seems the type to cut, weld, and grind Cor-Ten steel. Yet she emerged a bona fide pioneer in a male-dominated field and produced a gutsy body of work that spans four decades. This exhibition celebrates her work with a fine installation augmented with two new acrylic paintings on canvases and 10 more on handmade paper.
Whether two or three-dimensional, each piece contributes to an evenly curated show. Her work is often associated with the obscure MADI movement. The acronym MADI is something of a mystery. First articulated in 1946 by Uruguayan artist Carmelo Arden Quin, MADI could stand for four major art principles: movement, abstraction, dimension, and invention. Some say it stands for MAterialismo DIalectismo. Still others say the word, like Dada, was invented. Nevertheless, it landed Gold in movement retrospective at the Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain in 1997.
The simplicity and sophistication of the geometry represents the dynamic and compelling nature of Gold’s work — bright, thoughtful, and jutting with endless possibilities.
- Steven Biller
The love affair between U.S. artist Betty Gold and the city of Palma de Mallorca in Baleares, Spain, unfolds lyrically in a new series of seven painted steel sculptures.
The Mallorca sculptures — each casting curious shadows from their angular folds — exude a timely optimism, a message cast in geometry that seems to say that if you take time to study a situation, or an object, you will likely find new perspectives, dynamic ideas, and more thoughtful solutions.
“When I found geometry, it’s like when you find your essence,” says Gold, who lives part time in Mallorca and Venice, California. “Working in a geometric form takes tremendous organization. This is how I live and that’s how I express myself through my art.”
Gold first visited Mallorca in 1999 to participate in a symposium; she also installed a sculpture from her Tirón series there. Commissions followed, and she fell in love with the town and its people. She finished the Tirón series there in 2002, purchased an atelier in 2004, and was feted in 2005 with a 35-year retrospective exhibition at the Casal Solleric Museum in Palma de Mallorca. (Incidentally, the U.S. Embassy in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava commissioned another large piece from the series, Tiron IV, for the garden of the presidential palace.) Meanwhile, Gold had begun working on the Mallorca (M.A.) series.
Gold’s sculptures continue to break the physical boundaries of geometry, as well as encompass a minimalist sensibility akin to Ellsworth Kelly and the playfulness of Joan Miro. Yet, she emerged a bona fide pioneer as a sculptor of Cor-Ten steel and, in a male-dominated field, produced a gutsy body of work that spans nearly four decades.
After Gold installed a new, large-scale piece at last year’s Vancouver Sculpture Biennale in British Columbia, Canada, she put the final shine on the seven M.A. maquettes. The large-scale M.A. IV (2005) belongs to the permanent collection at Palm Springs Art Museum.
Her next series, Sant Elias IX, refers to the street where she lives in Mallorca, and the pieces are identifiable by their cathedral- or castle-like pinnacles.
As usual, the simplicity and sophistication of the geometry belie the dynamic and compelling nature of Gold’s work — thoughtful and jutting with endless possibilities.
- Steven Biller
Tuesday, January 17th, 2006, Vancouver, BC at 10:00am – The Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale is pleased to announce its 18th sculpture installation. American Artist, Betty Gold’s 11’ sculpture titled, Santa Monica III-B, will be installed at the circular pathway at the Georgia Street entrance to Stanley Park.
Having just celebrated a major retrospective of her work at the Casal Solleric de Palma, Mallorca, Spain, Betty Gold, a former Miss Texas, at 70 years of age continues to turn eyes. The major part of Betty Gold’s career has been based on a geometric concept, and she continues to find new ways in which to express its truth and universality. Betty Gold’s sculptures shine in the white, red, yellow and blue glossy enamel that compliments the graceful simplicity of her work – two-dimensional sheets of steel reassembled into a three-dimensional form.
Her work has often been described as “origami” in steel. Her works are in private and public collections in the United States and Europe, and her large outdoor sculptures are in permanent installations in Spain, Europe, Eastern Europe, Japan, Ireland, South Korea, Mexico and the United States.
Five events in four countries, culminating in a retrospective in Spain, highlight the career of the artist who works in both California and Mallorca.
The year 2005 is proving to be an especially active one for artist Betty Gold, who maintains studios in Venice, California, and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. A total of five exhibitions are either ongoing or in the planning stage.
The largest of the projects will open in late September at the Casal Solleric Museum in Palma. Titled "Betty Gold—35 Years of Sculpture" the retrospective will include originals of her work dating from 1970. It will fill ten rooms of the historic castle that is now one of the most important centers of contemporary art in the world. The exhibition will continue through November.
Two other international shows on Ms. Gold’s calendar are the U.S. Embassy Invitational in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico and the Biennale in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The former, "Hermandades Escultorica—Mexico-EUA" celebrates the cultural ties between Mexico and the U.S. while the latter is the fourth invitational Biennale "Sculpture Project" sponsored by the Canadian government. The Mexican event opened in March while the exhibition in Canada opens in September.
Two American exhibitions round out her busy schedule. The first will be at the University of California Art Museum in Santa Barbara in July and August. Second is the solo show at The Buschlenmowatt Gallery in Palm Desert, California from November through January, 2006. "Betty Gold Holistic Abstractions" in Santa Barbara will feature silk screens and sculptures. The Palm Desert event will be a titled "Betty Gold Sculpture."
Betty Gold, a professional sculptor has works in more than 100 permanent installations and private collections throughout the world. All of her outdoor pieces are constructed from welded steel. Some are painted with glossy enamel and others are left in their raw steel state to rust to a velvety patina. Indoor pieces are created from bronze and wood as well as the welded steel.
Ms. Gold’s prolific creative efforts include painting, drawing, silk screening, tapestry, and jewelry design, but sculpture remains her primary interest. She began her work in Texas and Colorado in the 1960s, relocating to Southern California in 1977. She started to work part-time in Mallorca, Spain in 1999.
By Ariel Swartley, Special to The Times
Museums around the world have been home to Betty Gold's steel forms. The geometric pieces are turning up in stylish gardens at houses around Los Angeles.
"I love yellow," sculptor Betty Gold says, and no one entering her Venice kitchen would doubt it. The painted cupboards are a brilliant shade, midway between egg yolk and ballpark mustard — the better perhaps to show off her collection of Spanish and Mexican plates. Born in Texas, Gold is a sun lover, but it's neither home furnishings nor the weather that has elicited her comment. It's a photograph of one of her giant geometric sculptures, works that are in permanent collections of museums as far-flung as Madrid and Seoul.
The sculpture's appearance is deceptive. Although 10 feet tall and constructed from cold rolled steel, its yellow triangles suggest paper creased a moment ago, then halted in the act of unfolding. Indeed, "Sóller II" — named for a town on the Spanish isle of Mallorca, where Gold spends part of each year — almost seems to float among the cream-colored buildings of Pepperdine University's Malibu campus. Its sunny color is brilliant against the greenery and at odds with the piece's monumental size.
Gold's appearance is deceptive as well. It's hard to believe that this willowy, black-haired woman talking so vivaciously about welding turned 70 in February. Her works may be abstract, but making them is a physical business. She still drives a truck and wrangles steel plates onto her studio loading dock. Neighbors offer to help, but "they wouldn't be my neighbors very long" if she called them every time something needed moving. "I've been whacked by my own sculptures," she says with a laugh, holding out a dinged forearm.
In Europe, where Gold's work probably is better known than at home, she is associated with a long-standing movement, named MADI, of artists who deal in bright geometric forms. In the last decade Gold has taken part in major MADI exhibitions in Madrid's Reina Sofía national art museum and in Bratislava, Slovakia, where one of her 10-foot sculptures stands in the garden of the presidential palace. The pieces crowding her studio — many destined for a retrospective of her work at the Esbaluard museum on Mallorca next year — come in primary colors and a variety of unpainted surface treatments. That mottled woodland brown, which looks like a rock after lichen has been scraped away? It comes from dousing the steel with vinegar and letting it sit until the desired patina of rust has formed.
When she uses specially formulated Cor-Ten steel, the surface weathers naturally to an ever-earthier chocolate. (Examples include the 10-foot "Sóller I" at the South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and the 20-foot "Holistic V" by the Harbor Freeway's 9th Street offramp in downtown L.A.) Still, she muses in a Texas accent that's strong despite nearly 30 years in California, "nobody wanted any yellow ones for a long time." That trend seems to be reversing in Los Angeles home gardens. Perhaps it's because yellow works so well with the year-round foliage — and the turquoise swimming pools.
In Beverly Hills, the bright yellow piece that Abner and Roz Goldstine commissioned — all fluid rectangles — stands at the head of a blue-bottomed lap pool, where its reflection appears, more fluid still, in shades of aqua and chartreuse, depending on the time of day. Like so much of Gold's recent work, it's at once purely abstract and then not. Faced with its lifelike motion, a viewer can begin to imagine a life-like creature.
Not all lots are large enough to showcase a 7-foot work and still have room for a perennial or two. But, Gold explains, a monumental piece is only one possible result of a process that begins with lots of folded paper and evolves through 12-inch models constructed from white cardboard and glue. When she is satisfied with a design, she and factory workers in Gardena cut, grind and weld the steel. These maquettes stand two to three feet high, the size Gold generally exhibits in museums and galleries. Larger versions, which sell for upward of $100,000, are made to order.
Varda Ullman and Robert Novick of West L.A. enjoy one of Gold's maquettes from their kitchen window. Their garage takes up one corner of a modest yard, but there's enough room for the small work to serve as a focal point, calm and engaging. The bamboo-shaded retreat, created by L.A. garden designer Katherine Glascock, grew outward, Ullman says, from a kitchen remodel. Gold, a longtime friend of Ullman's, chose soft yellow for cabinets that top the cobalt counter tile. That scheme continues into the backyard, where her triangular yellow sculpture stands at the juncture of a small stand of bearded iris and a patio of broken concrete interplanted with violets.
Wil Kohl, director of the Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, where Gold had an exhibition last spring, notes that it's unusual to find a woman doing sculptures like Gold's.
"She deals with a major material of the industrial age," he says, "and does it with great dexterity and power."
Glascock, who has designed three gardens containing yellow pieces by Gold, finds the work "remarkable for its absolute simplicity and also its sophistication." The sculptures change hourly as their angles cast a series of sharp shadows. Yet they also stop time, offering a freeze-frame of a flower opening or a bird in flight. For Gold, geometry becomes a kind of alchemy. Straight lines become a curve.
The artist's own garden is a gravel rooftop off a second-floor living room. There are no flowers, not even cactus. Instead the space is planted with some of her earliest terra cotta pieces. Many are figurative; the tallest is the torso of a buxom woman.
Abstract art, especially sculpture, was a largely male arena when Gold was growing up. How did a woman coming of age in the 1950s, a beauty pageant winner who majored in early childhood education, make the leap to apprenticing with Dallas sculptor Octavio Medellin? It wasn't a straight shot.
She married, adopted a daughter and divorced. She met her second husband, a dress manufacturer, while modeling for his line. Their marriage allowed her to go back to school and take courses in art history, painting and sculpture. By the end of the 1960s the cultural climate had become more encouraging to female artists. Gold shared a studio with five other women, and her paintings and a few small sculptures attracted enough attention to win her first show at 35. She began apprenticing with Medellin shortly thereafter.
"It seems like sculpture came so easy to me," she says, sounding as mystified as any master gardener trying to explain a green thumb. "Once I started working with him [Medellin], I remember everybody had to make an almost life-size body piece — terra cotta, hollow on the inside. In the kiln everybody's fell over and broke open except mine. So when we opened the oven, there were about 15 of us standing there, and there stood my sculpture — you know, boobs and bottom," she says, pointing toward the emphatically female torso.
Gold moved to Los Angeles in 1977, on the heels of the manufacture of her first monumental sculpture. She remembers driving to the factory to see it and being "bowled over."
"It was 12 feet tall, but to me it looked 80," she says. "Twelve feet. That's not really very big anymore." The intricate seven-ton fountain, "Redwood Moonrise," that she made for the Ronald Reagan State Office Building in downtown L.A. stands 2 1/2 times as high.
Gold settles back on the sofa. The abstract rug at her feet is one she designed, and photographs on walls are some she has taken on her travels.
"The only sad thing," she says, gesturing toward the TV where a DVD presentation of her work has just finished playing. "I don't have the energy to go back and do all this again." She does have sculptures on her loading dock ready to be picked up for a show in Canada, the Mallorca retrospective to prepare and — when she can find the peace and quiet — more paper to fold.
Betty Gold’s Mallorca-inspired sculpture raises the profile of College Of the Desert’s campus gallery.
By Steven Biller
Bright red and elegantly angular, Tiron VII — a striking sculpture of cut, welded, ground, and painted steel — finally gives the year-old Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts the iconic focal point it needed.
The center, located at College of the Desert, unveiled the sculpture by Venice-based artist Betty Gold at the November reception for her solo show, "Maquettes Made in Mallorca." Thirteen maquettes — models for larger sculptures — filled two galleries for the month-long show, with the full-sized Tiron VII (72"x48"x48") on permanent display at the center’s courtyard entrance, courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. David Chatkin, patrons of the artist who live in Pittsburgh, Pa.
"It is our signature piece and the beginning of our sculpture garden," says gallery director David Einstein. "It creates an opportunity for students and the community to view and perceive the world through the creative process of three-dimensional sculpture."
The gift is something of a coup for the center. Prior to the artist’s Palm Desert debut, the U.S. Embassy in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava commissioned Gold to create a large piece (Tiron IV) for the garden of the Presidential palace.
Tiron VII is the last in a series of sculptures that began in 1999 with a monumental installation for the city of Palma de Mallorca in Baleares, Spain. "I was developing pieces that looked like they move with the cape of a bullfighter," Gold says, noting that tiron is Spanish for "to throw." "It’s very much geometric how the bullfighter’s cape folds back."
Gold, 68, is currently working on a 15-foot commissioned sculpture, Homage to Fray Junipero Serra, which will be installed this year outside the new Es Balurad Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Palma. Serra, a Franciscan Friar born in Mallorca in 1713, came to California and "was the driving force behind the building of 21 missions from Sonoma to San Diego that stand to this day," says Gold, an Austin, Texas, native who speaks fluent Spanish and has returned to Mallorca six times since 1999.
The COD community need not be versed in fine art to embrace Tiron VII. Indeed, Einstein hopes it will promote visual and aesthetic literacy — an appreciation for form and process. Ultimately, the installation helps the center fulfill its primary role: to educate and create discourse about the sculpture’s bright cultural and historical significance.
Gold has created work for more than 100 permanent installations and private collections worldwide — including Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Fredrick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University, Duke University Medical Center, California State University in Fullerton, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Ronald Regan California State Building, Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Albuquerque Art Museum. She also has permanent installations in Japan, Ireland, and South Korea.
Palm Springs Desert Museum, which has two of Gold’s sculptures, offered the exhibition of maquettes to the college to stretch its reach in the community and to place world-class art where it can educate, enlighten, and inspire.
Tiron VII offers a different experience from every angle at which it is viewed. "It casts different shadows and looks different from every angle," Gold says. "[Her sculptures] are living things for me — that’s how people are to me."
Once she has a design in mind, Gold creates six maquettes but only one large sculpture, which appeals to Einstein’s sensibilities: "Betty isn’t into reproducing [for commercial gain]; she’s into creating what she sees in nature. I admire her integrity."
Steven Biller is editor-in-chief and art writer for Palm Springs Life magazine.
(This article was taken with permission, in whole, but reformatted, from PalmSpringsLife.com)
By Carrie Yamato (News Staff Writer)
Rancho Palos Verdes residents John and Marilyn Long often boast about the open space and beautiful parks on the Peninsula. But on a recent trip to Europe, they realized their hometown was missing something.
"We went to London and in all the gardens they would have these beautiful sculptures," said Marilyn. "My husband and I really love art and we said to each other, 'We need to have sculpture art in [Palos Verdes]. How can we bring this to the Peninsula?'"
Marilyn didn't have to wait long for her answer. When she returned home, she contacted her friend Bob Yassin, who is the director of the Palos Verdes Art Center, and he referred her to Venice, Calif., sculptor Betty Gold.
A professional sculptor for more than 25 years, Gold's works are in more than 100 public and private collections and museums throughout the world. She is currently working on a 15-foot-tall steel structure that will be situated outside the Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art on Spain's Mallorca Island.
"I loved her work immediately," said Marilyn of Gold. "We worked closely together, but I didn't give her any guidelines about what to sculpt [for the Botanic Garden]. I said, 'Betty, this is your project.' And she took off. She was excited after she came to the site."
On Solid Ground
While Gold completed the sculpture in a couple of months, it took the South Coast Botanic Garden twice that amount of time to get the project approved.
First, they needed approval from the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Then they had to make sure the weight of the almost 1,300-pound sculpture would not create any geological problems.
"The head of the Parks and Recreation Department was very receptive and that helped us," said Norma Catafio, executive director of the South Coast Botanical Garden Foundation. "But, because we're on a landfill, we had to get an engineer to check the soil compact. The sculpture had to be put on a solid soil composition beyond the norm. We didn't want to put in anywhere where it would be hazardous."
Catafio said, however, that the time that went into the project was well-spent and that she is thankful to the Long Foundation for their gift.
"We always wanted to bring art to the garden, but the county wasn't sure they wanted us to do that," said Catafio. "Then the Long family came in and wanted to work with us."
The Long Foundation was set up by the Long family to provide funds for education, culture and the environment. "We look for causes that will make a difference in our community," said Marilyn. "We're also appreciators of art, and that's how we got involved with this."
"We're thrilled," said Catafio. "Now we have the combination of art and horticulture to enhance the experience for the visitors. It's fabulous."
Standing 10 feet and weighing more than a ton, the sculpture, made of interlocking triangular shapes of Corten steel, is situated near the front entrance. Titled, "Soller I," it is named after the Spanish city where Gold conceived of the idea.
"Sculpture makes an eloquent statement about the richness that can be achieved when there is a merger of art and the space in which it dwells," said Marilyn. "South Coast Botanic Garden is a real treasure -- 87 acres of beautifully landscaped plants, trees and flowers. This art piece creates an environment that enriches those who visit this vast Garden of Eden."
The South Coast Botanic Garden is located at 26300 Crenshaw Blvd. It is open from Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(This article was taken, in whole, but reformatted, from the Palos Verdes Peninsula News online newsletter. To see the original you must search the archives.)