Mike Rathbun, The Situation He Found Himself In (detail), 2011. Pacific Albus, Douglas fir, cedar, and hardware, 73 ft. diameter.

Mike Rathbun

Boise, Idaho

Boise Art Museum

The muscular arc of Mike Rathbun’s The Situation He Found Himself In became visible as soon as one entered the foyer of the Boise Art Museum. Even from a distance, this soaring tour de force made momentum visible. The tilted elliptical ring, 73 feet across its longer axis and held aloft by X-shaped supports, ascended through a spacious gallery and seemed to burst through the wall and out into the Sculpture Court before boomeranging back into the building through an adjacent room. The Situation He Found Himself In was constructed of sustainable Pacific Northwest lumber, which Rathbun has employed almost exclusively over the many years of his career. Pacific Albus, a poplar hybrid (and “green” timber) harvested at the east end of the Columbia Gorge (not far from Rathbun’s home in Portland) formed the pale core of the ellipse.…see the entire review in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.