Michael Grossert’s 3 Playgrounds, 1967–1975

“While the relationship between sculpture and architecture is still fervently being explored, it is worth wondering why the works that emerge from that conversation are more often illustrious museums or art pavilions than utilitarian playgrounds. If this has something to do with a stemming of pedagogical ardor in this century, it is still—take a look at your neighborhood playground—a shame. As Grossert himself said, his projects realized the idea of the “walk-in sculpture” that occupied him for years. Such ideas have neither flagged nor left the minds of our artists, but they are now usually called installations, their province is the museum or gallery, and their population has usually left play far, far behind.”

From Quinn Latimer’s review of Michael Grossert’s “3 Playgrounds, 1967–1975″ at New Jerseyy, Switzerland.

Swiss sculptor Michael Grossert contributed three playground pieces to the sometimes delirious playground conversation of the mid-century:  a play plaza conceived as a walk-in sculpture (at top, 1967, recently restored)  a climbing sculpture for a  housing park of thirty yellow, red, and blue polyester stackable elements of which half were fixed and half were left for the children to move as they pleased (middle photo, 1971, still in place) and another,  unrealized concrete landscape intended for the Résidence Grétillat in Vitry-sur-Seine, France which survives only as a model (1974) but has obvious links to his 1976 sculpture “lieu dit” (below).

(see also the exhibition’s press release, with additional photos, here)

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