Of Note: Michael Hayden’s “Generators of the Cylinder” Shining Bright Above Downtown Los Angeles’ Jewlery District

{Los Angeles} Los Angeles International Jewelry Center Michael Hayden’s “Generators of the Cylinder” became a shining LA landmark when it was unveiled more than 30 years ago. The 270-foot light sculpture, commissioned by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill along with Cabot Cabot & Forbes, originally debuted in 1981 at the Los Angeles International Jewelry […]

Of Note: Michael Hayden’s “Generators of the Cylinder” Shining Bright Above Downtown Los Angeles’ Jewlery District
January 2, 2015

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{Los Angeles} Los Angeles International Jewelry Center

Michael Hayden’s “Generators of the Cylinder” became a shining LA landmark when it was unveiled more than 30 years ago. The 270-foot light sculpture, commissioned by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill along with Cabot Cabot & Forbes, originally debuted in 1981 at the Los Angeles International Jewelry Center. The artwork, which had been dark since 2008, was relit on Jan. 22.

Hayden, whose works reside in iconic venues such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale,  and the Gallery of Modern Art in Scotland, discussed the difficulties keeping his work lit in such a unique environment, “The greatest challenge in keeping the sculpture in light, in Downtown Los Angeles, is less about keeping it functional and more about keeping it decontaminated from airborne detritus.”

The sculpture is considered to be one of the first public art projects to use holography on such a grand scale. In 1981, upon its reveal, renowned architecture critic John Dreyfuss (who despised the building Hayden’s piece was affixed to) said of the work, “All that saves the building from almost total offensiveness is a remarkably beautiful and exciting neon light sculpture by Michael Hayden…the jewelry center’s saving grace.”

 / ijc550.com

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