los-angeles

Michael Todd

Salk Institute, La Jolla

Michael Todd, who has been on the faculty of the University of California at San Diego for the past year and a half, has been given the central courtyard of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla as an exhibition space for an indefinite period. It is a curious setting for sculpture. The building designed by Louis Kahn is “perfect” in its form and detail, a massive and calculated medievalism set on the bluffs above the Pacific. The two four-story blocks of offices and laboratories constructed of concrete and weathered teak fall upon an open court, paved with slabs of travertine, and within this highly ordered environment Todd has placed his sculpture.

One’s first impression upon entering this sequestered courtyard is of disappointment. The sculpture seems flat, thin and almost invisible on the travertine, the pieces cast about in defiance of the order which surrounds them.

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