The colorful but weathered panels that have adorned UAB Callahan Eye Hospital since 1976 are taking an extended vacation this year. Those panels make up Complex Vision, one of the earlier examples of kinetic art as envisioned by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam, who in the mid-1950s began establishing himself as one of the pioneers of optical and kinetic sculpture.
The Restoration Process
Here are a few images showing dismantling and preparation for cleaning to the detail oriented process of carefully restoring each element of the artwork and keeping everything together for transportation back to Birmingham for reassembly at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital.
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What is "Complex Vision"?
- “Complex Vision” was installed on the front of UAB Callahan Eye Hospital in 1976 making it 38 years old.
- “Complex Vision” was featured on the front of Birmingham telephone book in 1977.
- “Complex Vision” is 30 feet by 30 feet in size and at one time was the largest outdoor structure ever created by Yaacov Agam.
- "Complex Vision" is made up of 69 aluminum panels, each 9 feet, 9 inches long, 13 inches wide, and weighing roughly 50 pounds.
- The structure shows four distinct views as one walks or drives past it depending on the angle it is viewed, giving the sensation of movement.
Museums Exhibiting Yaacov Agam's Work
Yaacov Agam’s artwork has been exhibited by the world's finest museums including Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, New York; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri; and Tel Aviv Museum in Israel.
Sustaining the vision
The original Complex Vision sculpture was made possible by the late Mr. Marvin Engel and Mrs. Ruth Engel as a memorial to their parents, who were also patients of UAB Callahan Eye Hospital. The Engel Foundation has generously contributed to our restoration efforts to continue the Engel’s legacy of contributing to the arts and supporting the Callahan Eye Hospital.