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A site-specific sculpture by Derrick Woodham designed from a computer-generated model of the Weston Art Gallery upper level space.

Cincinnati Arts Association and the Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts announce the installation of TWISTER, a site-specific sculpture of an inverted cone formed by layered spirals rotating around a common center, proportioned to fit within the three-story-high upper level of the Weston Art Gallery. 

Woodham’s new sculpture represents several important steps in the artist’s career. It is his first piece to be completely designed on a computer screen before being modeled in real space. The computer model he used of the upper level of the Weston (made from construction drawings of the building) was his “most involved reconstruction of a proposed site to date.” Twister is also his first use of “conical screen structure” and marks a step away from the more geometric modular work of Woodham’s other permanent pieces in the Cincinnati area, such as those done for Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company in 1989 and 1990. 

Accompanying the piece is a musical composition by Lithuanian pianist Darijus Spakauskus and a series of computer-generated images that give the viewer an idea about the development of the form on the screen. Woodham is concerned with the interaction between sculpture and site and how the “cone implied by the sculpture extends beyond the volume of the upper levels of the gallery to engage the adjacent enclosed spaces.” His use of the tornado-like shape, which is significant to the area because of its potential devastation, becomes a metaphor for the conflict between man and nature and in turn relates to the tension between sculpture and space. 

Woodham, who was born in England and educated at the Royal College of Art in London, represented contemporary trends in British sculpture in numerous exhibitions throughout Europe during the 1960s. He was awarded the Prix de la Ville de Paris at the Paris Bienalle in 1965 and served as a member of the Arts Council of Great Britain. Currently a Professor of Fine Art with special interest in sculpture and electronic art at the University of Cincinnati, he was Dean of U.C.’s School of Art from 1980-1994. He has also taught at the University of Iowa, the University of Kentucky, and the Philadelphia College of Art. Past exhibitions include the Jewish Museum, the Richard Feigen Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. 

download the Artist's Statement Panel