Robert Lobe: Nature as Effigy

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation’s public art program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art throughout the five boroughs. Robert Lobe recently joined a long list of distinguished artists who have exhibited in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, among them, Roxy Paine and Mark di Suvero. But, how many of these artists have told a story so valuable? In the 19th century, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux gained widespread acclaim for co-designing many well-known urban parks, among them Central Park and Prospect Park. Olmsted arrived at his practice after working as a reporter in the Antebellum South, where he witnessed war’s devastating effect on nature. His design criteria aimed to uphold natural conditions rather than to appease the cultural will to control and, ultimately, to devastate. Lobe’s three-part sculptural series, “Nature in Nature,” reinforced the ideas of Olmsted’s natural landscape. Lobe has been working as a sculptor since the 1960s, when in an effort to disrupt Minimalism, he scattered shards of metal, rubber, wood, and rope on the floor. …see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.