Client: Princeton University
Location: Princeton, NJ, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $475,000
Michael C. Mayer, Managing Partner
Franz Mayer of Munich
Erica Behrens, Director, USA/Canada
Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.
Franz Mayer of Munich collaborated with artist Shahzia Sikander on two permanent monumental works that became a part of the Princeton University Art Museum collection this year; both are housed in the Economics Department in the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building. A sixty-six foot tall mosaic, titled “Ecstasy as Sublime” (installed in the International Atrium) and a twenty-five foot, multilayered glass mural, titled “Quintuplet Effect,” (located in the Economics Forum) expose visitors to a new visual language rich in symbolism and metaphor.
Drawing inspiration from a late sixteenth-century Persian manuscript, “The Shahnama,” Sikander set out to create an epic visual narrative, with a massive mosaic wall made of glass, ceramic and marble, spanning the central stairwell and a glass “painting” which overlooks a spacious atrium. Her goal was to produce work, rich with color and surface texture, which invites contemplation and interpretation. Drawing on themes of flight, rebirth, and transcendence, the artist blurs the lines between abstraction and representation, poetry and storytelling.
Sikander worked directly with artisans in our Munich studios; her hand-drawn images where digitally reproduced to scale for production of both the mosaic and the glass installations. She embraced the irregular surface unique to mosaics set positive in mortar without grout in between, and the way the variegated surface is animated by refracted light, giving the work a sculptural quality. The nine panels of multi-layered glass, fixed to a carbon steel frame, were hand-painted with a wide array of ceramic melting glass colors, giving the work vibrancy and luminosity.