Jim Sanborn : Meridian


Jim Sanborn : Meridian
Jan 11 – Mar 3, 2018

Following the unveiling of his latest public sculpture entitled Meridian and sited at Denver’s iconic Union Station, noted and prolific Washington, D.C.-based artist Jim Sanborn presents the compact Meridian II. As part of his ongoing series of cylindrical forms pierced with site-specific lettering – Meridian chronicles momentous events in Colorado history - condensed, line after line into rows of phrases cut out of the bronze base. When illuminated from within, the excised pattern of words that comprise the cylinder projects their meaning out onto either the surrounding pedestrian plaza at Union Station and building facades within the urban center where bustling history and history-in-the-making merge or in the gallery’s smaller theater space where contemplative investigation into the depth of meaning in the selected text becomes apparent. The simplicity of the patinaed column belies its drama when illuminated –  again making light the artist’s chosen medium expanding on his series of geometric light projections in landscape monuments throughout the West and beyond. As the light shines forth from the pierced column, the letters fan out and expand in scale exemplifying how single acts extend to become part of a larger whole as they reverberate into the wider world. Both Meridian sculptures reference the Arapahoe and Cheyenne peoples who preceded French colonialists and Mexican forebears; the state’s mountainous natural wonders named after famous explorers; fossilized “evidence” of the elusive jackalope; sister cities and much more.

Known for truly colossal undertakings as part of a practice that conflates art and science such as replicating the actual first atomic bomb in his Potomac River studio, shown in MCA Denver’s “Energy Effects” exhibition to developing cryptic cyphers for public sculpture yet to be fully cracked by the NSA or CIA to revealing art forgers at the source of their artistic perfidy in Thailand, Jim Sanborn’s intellectual and artistic curiosity thrives at the nexus of humanity, discovery and the scientific world.

Jim Sanborn graduated from Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA with a double major in art history and sociology followed by an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. His work is in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D. C., The Corcoran Gallery of Art, MIT, Cambridge, MA, National Museum of American Art, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, China, Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, VA, The National Endowment for the Art, Kawasaki National Peace Park, Japan, Tampa Museum of Art, FL, Nevada Museum of Art, Palm Springs Art Museum, CA, United States Embassy, Dublin, Ireland several Federal Reserve Banks and numerous other university, public and private collections. His many awards and recognitions include an NEA Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, Art Matters, Inc. Grant, Pollack Krasner Foundation Grant, Maryland Arts Council Grant, a Bader Foundation Grant and more.