Plateau (2005)

by Andrea Blum (1950 - )

Photo Caption: Photo by Jeremy Lawson, courtesy University of Pennsylvania
  • Title

    Plateau

  • Artist

    Andrea Blum (1950 - )

  • Year

    2005

  • Location

    University of Pennsylvania, 40th Street and Locust Street

  • Medium

    Perforated steel, concrete

  • Dimensions

    Height 10'; length 160'; depth 15'

  • Themes

    Women and Public Art, Functional Public Art

Commissioned by by the University of Pennsylvania through the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Owned by the University of Pennsylvania

At A Glance

  • First project in Philadelphia by New York-based artist Andrea Blum, who frequently lectures on the relationship of art and architecture

  • Artist chosen by the Redevelopment Authority and representatives from the University of Pennsylvania and Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)

  • Stainless steel pavilions, tables, and concrete benches on the edge of campus create a social space for the University and community

  • Puzzle-like formation of interlocking layers creates options for private or social interaction

Plateau is New York-based artist Andrea Blum’s first project in Philadelphia. The permanent installation was commissioned by the University of Pennsylvania through the Philadelphia’s Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art Program, which mandates that one percent of the total cost of construction on redeveloped land be spent on commissioning a public artwork. Blum was selected by the Redevelopment Authority and representatives from the University and Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).

The approximately 4,800-square-foot design is a series of perforated stainless steel pavilions and tables, and concrete benches set in stone fines. Situated on the edge of campus, Plateau was intended to serve as an interface between the University and nearby community, providing a social space with seating for students, residents, and passersby. The puzzle-like formation of interlocking layers also offers options for private or social interaction. Blum said as the project was underway, “It will be interesting to see [students] approach and start going through the decision-making process of ‘What do I want to do today? How do I want to be? Alone or with friends, even strangers?'”

A series of puzzle-like perforated gray steel pavilions, tables and benches
Photo by Jeremy Lawson, courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania

Blum has received numerous commissions for permanent and temporary projects and exhibits both nationally and internationally in galleries and museums. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, Graham Foundation Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Blum is a professor at Hunter College C.U.N.Y and frequently lectures on the relationship of art and architecture.

 

RESOURCES:

This artwork is part of the Around University City tour

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