The White Wall: Optic Twist Screen

By Erin Green, Arts Columnist


If you have walked past the Chazen Museum at night on your way from the Union or Memorial Library, you have probably spied the large, illuminated glass work of art in the bridge that connects the museum’s two buildings, but it is worth visiting this piece from inside the museum as well. This is my favorite spot in the whole museum is the Bridge Corridor; I love to sit on the bench across from the wall-to-ceiling windows that looks out at a beautiful view of Library Mall. Oddly enough, what makes this view so spectacular is, in fact, the art piece that is obstructing and distorting the actual view outside. The large sculpture by Andy Paiko, titled “Optic Twist Screen #2,” is composed of steel panel frames filled in with strings of organically shaped glass-blown pieces that vary in size and overall form. The blown glass pieces are transparent, but the twisting shapes warp the view outside; this can be especially lovely during a light snowfall or as the sunsets. People walking to and from class turn to colorful blurs in the glass. Between the cracks, you get a clear view of Lake Mendota in the distance. On a gray, early spring day the muted colors beyond the glass give off a subtle sort of beauty that is mesmerizing. If you are on the lookout for a new place to bring a good book, or just a nice spot to sit and people watch, I recommend checking out the Chazen bridge and Paiko’s piece.

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