Saturday, December 27, 2008

An early concept rendering of the plan for the "Thinking Cap" and "Lightfield" artworks gives an idea of how the pieces will look on the plaza

PASADENA - Depending on whom you ask, juxtaposing edgy, contemporary art or architecture with historic buildings brings fresh life and personality - or it thumbs the nose at classic structures that have stood the test of time. And perhaps as early as Jan. 26, the City Council will don its collective art-critic hat and step into the middle of a spat over plans to put two funky sculptures on the historic Civic Auditorium's plaza.

The council will be asked to approve a $1.2 million public art project, in the works for more than two years, for the $145 million Pasadena Convention Center expansion opening in March.

Opinions are sharply divided over whether "Thinking Caps" by New York artist Dennis Oppenheim - a 30-foot fedora, sun hat and baseball cap - and a 6-foot, $500,000 kinetic sculpture described as resembling waving stalks by Berlin-based "light and sound" artist Hans Peter Kuhn, belong on the plaza fronting Green Street.

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