Counterpoint

1971
Welded steel
Arline Peartree Shulman (b. 1937)

Counterpoint consists of seven counterbalanced shapes: a cube; a circle; a flat, ring-shaped form; two long rectangular boxes; and two u-shaped troughs. The structure, with its combination of substantial solids and flat planes appears precarious; as if the pieces may come apart at any moment. Shulman cites Mozart’s classical music as her inspiration for this work, the simple geometric building blocks analogous to elementary musical notes. From one angle, the circular disc and two straight modules look like an eighth note. When assembled, they create, in the artist’s words, “a kind of unity” as in a musical composition. 

Bequest of Lawrence H. Bloedel, Class of 1923, to Williams College Museum of Art. 77.9.128.

Located at Field Farm.