Visual Arts

Visual arts abound in South Coast Metro. Take a leisurely walking tour to experience the spectacular works of Jean Dubuffet, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Charles O. Perry and Isamu Noguchi, among other world-class figures whose artistry is on display locally.  The centerpiece is Isamu Noguchi’s 1.6-acre collection of sculptures and plantings called California Scenario. This  sculpture and horticultural landscape present an abstract, condensed vision of the Golden State itself.

The Ram by Charles O. Perry

Charles O. Perry’s bright-yellow steel abstraction’s title and form suggest that Perry was inspired by animal horns, but he has taken the idea so dramatically into the realm of abstraction that The Ram literally rises above any reference to nature. Perry’s works are featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Located between Park Tower and The Westin South Coast Plaza.

Night Shift by Jim Huntington

Jim Huntington’s Night Shift provides a perfect complement to the natural setting of Town Center Park. Cut from a massive chunk of Sierra white granite, the piece is abruptly sliced through the top by a plate of polished, stainless steel. Huntington’s works have been exhibited in San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.

Located in Town Center Park behind Park Tower and The Westin South Coast Plaza.

Tour Aux Jambes by Jean Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet’s Tour Aux Jambes can be translated as “Encirclement of Limbs” or “Tower of Legs.” This artwork, made of epoxy and polyurethane, is rather like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, though its lines are only on the surface. The artist’s works—in characteristic Dubuffet colors of red, white, blue and black—may be seen in New York City’s Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Located in Park Tower on Town Center Drive and Bristol Street.

Neptune Water Spouts by  Betty Davenport Ford

The Olympian god of the sea is an apt choice for artist Betty Davenport Ford’s elaborate waterworks, Neptune Water Spouts. Outside of the lobby of The Westin South Coast Plaza are seven identical ceramic Neptune heads spouting water into the pools below. As one of Southern California’s most respected homegrown artists, many of her pieces are on display in public spaces in California, Arizona, Michigan and New York.

Located behind the lobby of The Westin
South Coast Plaza.

Fire Bird by Richard Lippold

Soaring through the facade of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’s Segerstrom Hall is Fire Bird, a major architectural sculpture of enormous scale created by renowned sculptor Richard Lippold. Made of red, gold and silver aluminum and steel, Fire Bird’s vibrant colors are about the colors and rhythms of music and how they relate to the asymmetric architecture of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The great glass wall that encloses the lobby areas permits a visual continuity between the inside and outside of the building, while the balconies on each level allow patrons to experience the sculpture at close proximity. Among the museums displaying the artist’s works are the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Located in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Reclining Figure by Henry Moore

By designing a void in the mass of his Reclining Figure, Henry Moore encourages us to see that space around the figure is as important as solid material. One of the undisputed giants of 20th century sculpture, Moore has captured the dignity and living force of a woman through his mastery of open and closed form. Moore’s works may be seen in New York City’s Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Located at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Sun Glitter and Jonah and the Whale by Carl Milles

The Theater and Arts District is blessed with two bronzes by Sweden’s most celebrated sculptor, Carl Milles. In Sun Glitter, a mermaid, hair flying, rides a dolphin through the spray as smaller fish circle around them while Jonah and the Whale re-enacts the popular Biblical story. In his homeland, Milles is to Swedish sculpture what Frank Lloyd Wright is to American architecture.

Located outside of the Center Club in the lower level of Center Tower on Town Center Drive.

Oiseau by Joan Miro

Joan Miro’s cast bronze Oiseau is a “bird” of a monumental and highly unorthodox order. Its bulbous volumes and spiky projections lend it a whimsical character, thoroughly in keeping with the great Spanish surrealist’s sense of humor. The works of Miro have been exhibited in major galleries throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Located in the lobby of the Center Tower on Town Center Drive.

Fermi by Tony Smith

Tony Smith’s white marble sculpture, Fermi, is an homage to Enrico Fermi, the Nobel Prize-winning Italian physicist who brilliantly investigated quantum theory and atomic structure. Smith asks us to consider the complex structure of things while simultaneously giving us a handsome form that is appreciated for its uncomplicated elegance. The artist’s works are widely displayed in major collections including the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Located in the Center Club lobby of Center Tower.

Four Lines Oblique Gyratory-Square IV by George Rickey

George Rickey harnesses the wind as his partner and uses real movement in his perfectly balanced kinetic creation, Four Lines Oblique Gyratory-Square IV. Rickey is noted around the world for his gravity and wind-driven sculptures that respond to the same laws of motion in nature. His works are on display in galleries worldwide.

Located at the Center Tower on Park Center Drive.

Utsurohi 91 – Costa Mesa by Aiko Miyawaki

A sculpture by internationally renowned Japanese artist Aiko Miyawaki, Utsurohi 91 – Costa Mesa consists of a dozen 10-foot columns set in an elliptical configuration with chromium-plated steel “threads” intertwining in graceful patterns at the top of each column. Aiko has chosen the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs to decorate her graceful columns. As one of Japan’s leading artists, Miyawaki’s sweeping modern wire sculptures are spread throughout the world.

Located on a grassy rectangle adjacent to Plaza Tower on Anton Boulevard and Avenue of the Arts.

South Coast Repertory’s Spatio Virtuo Teatro by Jason Meadows

The three pieces, “The Story Teller,” “Upstage/Downstage” and “Herald,” were designed by Jason Meadows. Meadows created this trio especially for South Coast Repertory, with the intention of bringing the theater into the outdoors. These pink, purple, blue and silver sculptures not only invite the audience to continue their theatrical experience, but also provide patrons with a place to sit on sunny days.

Located at South Coast Repertory.

Connector by Richard Serra

The Connector consists of five twisted, sinuous steel plates that stand together, forming a hollow structure that visitors can walk into and through. Up close, the surface of the steel is painted beautifully by natural oxidation and weather, leaving a complex pattern. At 64 feet tall and 360 tons, the structure is an impressive focal point. Serra’s sculptures have been installed or exhibited in museums worldwide, such as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.

Located in the pedestrian plaza between the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

California Scenario designed by Isamu Noguchi

South Coast Metro is home to Isamu Noguchi’s 1.6-acre collection of sculptures and plantings, California Scenario, which presents the artist’s abstract, condensed vision of the Southern California landscape. The complexities of the garden’s design and scope provide a captivating retreat amidst Pacific Arts Plaza’s reflective glass, high-rise office towers.

Throughout the garden, Noguchi has incorporated essential elements that portray the range of California’s different ecosystems. These elements include an “Energy Fountain,” “The Spirit of the Lima Bean” sculpture, sandstone paving, granite benches and areas aptly named the “Forest Walk” and the “Desert Land.” A visit to the garden, which has garnered praise as one of the most artistically noteworthy outdoor sculpture gardens in Southern California, can elicit an awe-inspiring appreciation for the vast breadth of nature that is found throughout the entire Golden State. Noguchi’s sculptures, unique fountains and often monumental landscape projects may be seen in cities around the globe.

Located in Pacific Arts Plaza at the intersection of Anton Boulevard and Avenue of the Arts.