Olympic Sculpture Park - Wake

Visiting the Park
Admission: Free
Park Hours: Oct-Apr: 7 am - 6 pm
May-Sep: 7 am - 9 pm

Undulating metal is a theme of the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Park, and Richard Serra’s Wake picks up where Calder’s Eagle leaves off. While the latter is magnificent in its simplicity, standing alone and quiet, a solitary sculpture, Wake’s power lies in its massiveness – bruised and beaten steel spaced apart in such a way that visitors can wander in and out between the five pairs of toroids. Another example of abstract sculpture, Wake is also surrounded by retaining walls designed by Serra himself for Olympic Park.

Though not, technically, a piece of Seattle art (it was initially installed in a gallery in Chelsea), Wake’s acid-washed surfaces bring to mind the dreariness of the city’s weather, while referencing the naval shipyards that dot the state’s coastline. In fact, machinery designed to construct nuclear submarines was necessary in the construction of Wake. Walking amongst the plates is to feel the humbling power that successful examples of art can portray. Wake is one of the trademark pieces by an artist that has been named by some as the greatest living sculptor in America, further adding to the Olympic Park’s growing artistic significance.

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