Location: Houston, TX, United States
Completion date: 2022
Curatorial and Project Manager
Weingarten Art Group
Carolyn Salas’ Fighand, made of powder-coated aluminum, skillfully combines abstraction and figuration in sculptural form. The simplified human figure is accessible yet also offers layered iconographic and art historical references, including nods to ancient Egyptian carvings and modernist sculptors such as Brancusi. The most meaningful reference is the way in which the female form is depicted, akin to ancient Greek caryatids that shoulder the weight of stone buildings. As such, the work also touches on ideas of womanhood and feminine identity as a balancing act.
In relation to theater, the intersecting planes in Salas’ sculpture speak to the concept of set design and performance. Her work functions in the round. The composition is carefully balanced with stacked and curving geometries. Seeing the sculpture from one angle isn’t enough, the viewer is compelled to walk around it to see how the shapes intersect.
When Hines approached Weingarten Art Group to curate an outdoor sculpture for Brava, a residential high-rise development in Downtown Houston, the goal for this project was twofold. One goal was to select an artwork that reflected the sophistication of Brava building’s architectural and design sensibilities. The second was to have the art pay homage – in both an abstract and meaningful way – to Brava’s location by the Theater District. Visible from inside Brava through a floor to ceiling window, the sculpture draws residents outside to experience the sculpture from a different angle. In doing so, the piece creates a performative, active experience for the viewer.