Kosso Eloul
Hardfact, 1965
Concrete and stainless steel
175 x 74 x 1539 inches

 

 

 

 

UAM SCULPTURE PARK

Kosso Eloul
(Russian 1920-1995)

Kosso Eloul, along with Ken Glenn, a professor in the CSULB Sculpture Department, was the co-organizer of the 1965 Long Beach International Sculpture Symposium. The principle element of his work for the symposium is a black concrete monolith faced with stainless steel and placed at the apex of a red-painted, concrete-lined wedge cut into the face of the hill upon which it stands.

Like most of the symposium sculptors, Eloul used materials and techniques that were not only new to him, but also had not been generally used by artists anywhere else. In order to resolve the issue of bonding steel to concrete, Eloul worked with specialists in space technology, particularly Leo Gatzek, consultant for the Apollo and Saturn lunar vehicles at North American Aviation in Downey, CA; the company also subsidized the construction of this piece. Hardfact is a testimony to the support and participation of industry in the symposium.

Regarding his work, Eloul was quoted saying the following: "The fusion of [steel and concrete] gave me something that I could not have achieved with either of them singly: the tension and the power of the metal—hard, clear, tense and dynamic—combined with the tremendous feeling of weight and stability of concrete. I want a man standing in front of it to…be very much alone with it, react to it and be activated by it—very privately."

Born in 1920 in Mourom, Russia, Kosso Eloul and his family migrated to Palestine in 1924. Eloul’s artistic training began at the Studio of Itzhak Danziger in Tel Aviv in 1938. In 1939, he immigrated to the United States to attend at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. Living in Chicago also presented Eloul with the opportunity to study under Laszlo Moholy-Nagy at the Chicago School of Design. After serving in World War II and the War of Independence in Palestine, he returned to his art in 1948. After representing Israel at the 29th Venice Biennale, he permanently settled in Toronto, Canada, where he remained an active sculptor. His characteristic monumental sculptures grace the public spaces of many Canadian cities; his most famous sculpture is the Eternal Flame at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Although usually described as minimalist, Eloul’s sculptures possess inherent energy and restless potential for movement that transcend the contemplative minimalist sensibility. Eloul passed away in November 1995, at the age of 75.

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