Client: Art in Embassies, U.S. Embassy in Kosovo
Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Completion date: 2019
Artwork budget: $400,000
Sawyer Studio LLC
Art in Embassies
Mayer of Munich
“Synchronicity of Color for Kosovo” was commissioned by Art in Embassies – US State Department. Sawyer was chosen for this project because of her ability to integrate color and monumentality into public art. Sawyer’s immersive architectural glass spiral sculpture was created to make a space for reflection and contemplation, where color would pass over the viewer and create a dynamic play of light and color through all times of year. The translucent spiral magically appears from the plaza, and looks as if you are walking into a brilliant curtain of stained glass. Sited in the middle of the embassy courtyard, “Synchronicity of Color for Kosovo” plays with color, light, and sound, and stands 9′ tall with a diameter of roughly 15′ wide. It is composed of forty 9′ by 1′ artistically treated glass panels, each one hand painted to the artists specifications while working closely with the Mayer of Munich studio in Munich, Germany.
It was important that the work be celebratory for this new moment in the history of the young country of Kosovo and the opening of the new United States Embassy. The United States was instrumental in helping gain peace in the region. Through an initial site visit, the artist gained an understanding of the vernacular architecture of Kosovo and was specifically drawn to and inspired by the patterns and structures within the National Library of Kosovo in Pristina, a building designed by the architect Andrija Mutnjaković, which became a muse for the entire project.
Inspired by her first site visit to Mayer of Munich in 2016, Sawyer felt our knowledge of architectural glass fabrication was crucial to the realization of this project. In addition to employing innovative surface treatments, Mayer of Munich engineered an underground metal substructure, invisible to the eye, to support this enormous multi-layered glass structure. The Art in Embassies staff, architects, construction crews, precision stone carvers, artist’s team in Texas and Kosovo and our glass and metal crew – the collective expertise and collaborative spirit helped Sawyer accomplish this monumental work.
Sawyer is a Professor of Sculpture and Extended Media in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been exhibited both nationally in New York, Los Angeles, New Haven, Houston, Dallas, Austin and internationally in the United Kingdom, Italy, India, Japan, and Kosovo. She is represented by Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas, Texas. Honors and awards received for her work include: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, Japan Foundation Fellowship the American Academy in Rome Fellowship, and a Fulbright Grant to India.