Artist: James Brenner (American, b. 1960)
Materials: welded mild steel
Provenance: Gift of Cozzi Iron and Metal, Inc., and the artist
After earning his Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, James Brenner moved to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received his Masters of Fine Art there in 1997 and continues to make Chicago his home.
Brenner's resume reflects the public nature of his work, with civic commissions placed at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Telford, England; the River Towers pieces, found at the intersection of the north and south branches of the Chicago River; and as close by as the Green Hills Library in Palos Hills, Illinois.
The artist has an interest in engaging the viewer, not just through observation, but through interaction with his sculpture. Passage is one of a series of large scale maze-like works that Brenner completed at the turn of the century.
Passage was exhibited as an untitled work at Pier Walk '98, the massive summer-long celebration of sculpture presented at Navy Pier between 1996 and 2003. Originally installed on the GSU campus to the west of C-wing 1999, it was moved to its present site in 2007.
The piece can be appreciated on a variety of different levels: through the interaction of light and shade as the two Fibonacci curves interact with one another; by entering the sculpture and experiencing the "hide and seek" quality of seeing through the closely placed columns and the "aha!" moment as the visitor enters the central core; and, finally, by viewing the piece from the bridge which connects the Faculty Office Center with D-wing, the viewer can appreciate the precise geometry of James Brenner's form.