If you’ve wandered on the lawn of Seattle Center’s Broad Street Green, you’ve seen Doris Chase’s Moon Gates (1999), a group of three bronze sculptures that play with oppositions inspired by space and form.
In the artwork, two sculptures with convex surfaces, one rhomboid and one ovoid, are each pierced by a circular hole. The concave surface of the third sculpture also contains a round void at its center, but its missing piece can be found attached to the top of the sculpture on a bearing that rotates. The juxtaposition of positive and negative spaces with circular and rectangular forms invites viewers to sit, stand and play among the forms.
According to Chase: “Moon Gates offers interior-exterior experiences and the opportunity to interact on many levels: physically, visually and spiritually…My basic concern for this public installation is the joyous relationship between spaces, form and human interaction and that the composition offers both a symbol of place and a unique area for creative play.”
In 1991, Seattle Center demolished Building 50, a 500-foot-long, concrete storage building. In its place flourished the Broad Street Green, a nearly three-acre open space with a sculpture garden. The garden needed two additions for its completion – a relocation of Alexander Liberman’s Olympic Iliad and another major work to fill out the area. Chase’s Moon Gates was selected as the completing piece for the garden.
Moon Gates was a gift to the city of Seattle by Seattle Center Foundation.
IMAGE: Doris Chase’s Moon Gates, 1999, 9’ to 17’ H, silicon sheet and plate. Photos by Spike Mafford Photography.
Weekly Art Hit is featuring artworks every week from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the city’s public art program.