Mock II, V-Form 1976
Artist: John Payne (American, 1929-2004)
Materials: painted steel
Provenance: Loan courtesy of the artist's estate
John Payne's career in the arts spanned four decades and dealt with a broad variety of issues in visual language. A 1959 graduate of Beloit College, he earned an MS in Graphics, Painting, and Art History and eventually an MFA in Sculpture Research and 3-D Design from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During this time, he studied with Arne Jakobsen, a noted Finnish Urban Designer. After attaining the rank of Associate Professor of Sculpture at Western Illinois University, he was offered and accepted a position at Governors State University, where he remained as the Visual Arts Program Coordinator until his retirement in 2002.
Payne monitored the progress of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park’s development as he established the sculpture program at the school. He proposed, designed, and oversaw the construction of a foundry capable of casting molten bronze. This provided his students with a window to an ancient medium, which continues to be used by artists throughout the world.
"The mind hungers. People need art, just like they need the sun. Without art, the world would be an ugly, gray place," was his appeal to students as he urged them to continue with their work.
Mock II, V-Form is an enigmatic piece, which appears deliberately unfinished, as if the artist is asking the viewer to complete the work. Its color scheme—bright orange contrasted with gray and black - conveys an impression of construction underway.