Gordon worked closely with Rockland County’s Art in Public Places Committee (AIPPC) to arrive at a concept that adequately represents Rockland County’s natural beauty and interesting history. He created a total of four concepts for their County Office Building (COB). After an elaborate design phase and a careful selection process the AIPPC chose Gordon’s concept entitled “Waves of Change.” We received notice of his selection as the winning artist for this project on April 29th, 2014. A little over two years later, on May 25th, 2016, the completed artwork has been installed at its designated location.
Gordon’s inspiration for the artwork came from the 19th century art movement called the ‘Hudson River School’ and in conjunction with that the Hudson Valley’s beautiful landscape. An essential element of this movement was the motivation to capture the striking properties and varieties of light in unique ways to better depict the dramatic landscape. This aspect provided significant direction for the artist’s proposed concept.
By incorporating etched glass into his design, Gordon created a direct connection to the Hudson River School’s fundamental light component. His approach stands purposefully in contrast to the typically impressionistic paintings of these past times. In essence, he has reinterpreted prevalent elements of that time, resulting in a modern and minimalist design. Warm, autumnal shades are reflected in the Corten steel and reference the cliffs of the Palisades and the dense woods strewn with leaves. They stand in juxtaposition with the cool, crisp, white-grey glass, referencing the river pathways, strewn with rocks and boulders.
The installation is entitled “Waves of Change” and is a layered, multi-element installation made up of a total of twelve components, six glass waves and six Corten steel waves. Each element measures approximately 8’ to 12’ in height and measure 3’ at their widest points. These twelve elements are mounted atop a 4’ by 5’ baseplate, which sits on a slightly larger concrete footing.
The contours of the waves are a direct reference to the winding rivers, which have been significantly shaping the landscape of the Hudson Valley for centuries. Waterways and boulders are the prominent natural elements, which provided additional inspirational guiding cues for the artist. Ultimately, the association between this installation, the area’s history and natural beauty communicates a profound connection to local identity and heritage.