George Baker -- Monumental Sculpture

George Baker has been making large sculpture while teaching at Occidental College in Los Angeles beginning in 1965. His use of the studios there has been advantageous both for him and for the students who have taken his classes. Virtually all of the following large commissions were completed with students and former students hired to do all of the planning and fabrication.

The first large-scale sculpture Mr. Baker made was for EXPO '70 in Osaka, Japan, a large kinetic fountain that was later moved to the Hakone Outdoor Sculpture Museum (not pictured.) This project was followed over the next few years by a number of large commissions...

Hanging Discus

San Diego State University, Malcolm Love Library, 1973

Hanging 50 feet (16m) down a five story stairwell, this huge motorized piece has seventeen aluminum discs, some of which are eight feet (2.6m)in diameter.

The single motor mounted above spins the main shaft, while various discs mounted on ball bearings are free to spin independently.

Alunos Discus

Deutsche Oper opera house, Berlin, Germany, 1978

A motorized wall sculpture commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce in West Germany as a gift to the city of West Berlin. Installed in the main foyer of the Deutsche Oper, it has been nicknamed "der Wolkenskulptur" (cloud sculpture) for the swirling, silent motion and billowing forms. It is 33 feet (10.6m) long and 13 feet (4.2m) high.

This sculpture and its location is reflective of Mr. Baker's devotion to music and, especially, the operas of Richard Wagner.

Nebraska Wind Sculpture

Kearney, Nebraska, 1976

This floating wind sculpture was commissioned during the American Bicentennial celebration by the state of Nebraska. It was part of a statewide program for the arts involving the commissioning of ten large works of art at various sites around the state.

This stainless steel sculpture has eight moving shapes gently swaying in the breeze. It weighs over 3,000 pounds and measures 16 feet (5m) high and 26 feet (8.3m) long.

Water Forms II

Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Commissioned by the College as a memorial to the late wife of then-president Richard Gilman, the sculpture has become something of an icon and landmark for the college.

Placed in a large pool at the end of the main entrance road to the college, the fountain has a commanding presence, its graceful lines, gentle motions, and continuously changing water patterns making it an unforgettable experience.

Mr. Baker has taught at Occidental for over thirty years. All of his sculptures are made at Oxy's sculpture facility, often with the help of student and former student assistants.

The fountain is 12'(3.9m) high , 27' (8.7m) long, and is made entirely of stainless steel.

Water Forms 1989

Greater Los Angeles World Trade Center, Long Beach, California

The centerpiece of the plaza for the high-rise office building and hotel complex, this fountain occupies a 35-foot circular pool made of rose granite and black terrazzo. The sculpture itself is made entirely of stainless steel and is over 15 feet high.

The computer-controlled water program varies water flow through four separate groups of water jets over a recurring program fifteen minutes long.

Like all of Mr. Baker's sculptures, the fountain was designed and constructed entirely at the sculpture facility at Occidental College.

Water Forms 1991

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

Commissioned by an independent arts committee consisting of alumni, emeriti, and other friends of the Institute, this kinetic fountain graces the pool adjoining Millikan Library.

The water features are powered by a central pump controlled by a motorized valve. The sculpture composition hovers low over the water and is over 25 feet (8m) long.

Nearly all of the visible stainless steel shapes move--some rock while others slowly spin. The mysterious source of this motion is simply the alternate filling and emptying of two hidden water chambers by a pair of submersible pumps.

recent project: Tilting Arc

Tilting Arc

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art
Utah State University at Logan, 1996

This photograph is a computer composite, prepared for a project now underway.

The 20 foot (6.4m) high stainless steel and bronze wind sculpture is slated for installation in August 1996.

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all text and images Copyright © 1996 George P. Baker