Bryan Hunt: Monuments and Wonders (1974-79), 2007
Text by Constance Lewallen
66 pages, Softcover
Published by Locks Art Publications
Hunt, who was born in 1947 in Terre Haute, IN, wanted to be an architect when he was growing up. When he was in his teens he was a technical assistant at Kennedy Space Center and later worked as a draftsman for a mechanical engineer. These interests and training are very apparent in these early works, with their fascination with the history and construction of buildings, monuments, and flying machines. In 1968, Hunt moved to Los Angeles and studied at the Otis Art Institute. He continued to live and work in LA until 1976, part of a dynamic scene that included Allan McCollum, Lynda Benglis, Bruce Naumann, and Chris Burden. During these years in LA, Hunt produced an extraordinary body of work. Curator Sue Scott has called 1974 the pivotal year of Hunt's career. "In only twelve months, he created five important sculptures that moved his work in a new direction, laying a firm foundation for years of intense creativity. These five works - Empire State with Hindenburg, Nankow Pass (Wall of China), Hoover Dam, Tower of Babel, and the first of a series of airships - with their curious amalgamation of art, science, technology and philosophy were radically different from sculpture then being shown in galleries and museums." These works were a challenge to the cult-like followers of Minimalism and Earth Art and a sophisticated and idiosyncratic response to classical and modern sculpture. Following these earliest works came a series of sculptures depicting the volumes of lakes and quarries and then the first of his signature waterfall sculptures. Christoph Brockhaus noted that Hunt "has been interested in Rodin's surface structure, Brancusi's dialogue between sculpture and pedestal, the geometric shapes of Constructivism, and Abstract Expressionisms gesture."