Speaking Out

'Visions' Under Wraps?

A visit to Meyerson Hall's main gallery will serve to reveal one of Penn's better kept secrets. I refer to the teaching and research tenure of a brilliant French Engineer/Artist/Sculptor/Poet, Robert le Ricolais. An exhibit of his work is on view there.

Already an honored scientist in his native country, le Ricolais came to Penn in 1954 to further his research in the effects of stress on structure in space. While teaching architecture, he fabricated, with the help of his students, a number of physical models. These models demonstrate the application of his innovative research and are works of sculptural art in themselves. While reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller's creative ideas, they appear to go even further than the ubiquitous geodesic dome in exploring structural forms.

In 1974 le Ricolais was appointed to the Paul Philippe Cret Chair in Architecture at GSFA. He died in 1977 in Paris.

To learn more about le Ricolais's accomplishments as artist, poet, and philosopher, visit this mind-boggling assembly of his models. I'm sure you will come away enormously impressed.

For conceiving and mounting this exhibit, thanks should go to Professor Peter McCleary and his associates. The show will continue on view until February 12, 1996*.

Maurice S. Burrison

Director, Faculty Club Art Gallery

* The date has been extended through February 16; for more on the show, please see the article about le Ricolais in this issue. Ed.


February 6, 1996

Volume 42 Number 19

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