A series of four life-sized sculptures of abstract running figures by Purchase student Andrew Fennell is the newest addition to the outdoor sculpture collection at Purchase College.
The four, bright red, running figures on a hillside have become a striking gateway for campus visitors as they enter the Plaza or visit The Performing Arts Center.
The work, Interpretations of Movement in Red, is a study of human movement and Mr. Fennellâ€™s senior project as a student in the School of Art+Design at Purchase. Made of 6 Â½ foot steel pipe sections, the works depict a figure running in four stages in sequential time frames. Each figure was made to the proportions of Mr. Fennellâ€™s body and each stage depicts a specific body movement.
The sculptures were first on view as part of Mr. Fennellâ€™s senior project exhibition and the College has since acquired them.
A native of Rhinebeck, N.Y, Mr. Fennell grew up on a 500-acre communal farm on the Hudson River surrounded by musicians, poets and artists who lived in 20 barns and small houses on the property. His passion for artistic expression was instilled in him at an early age by his father, a sculptor, and his mother, a painter.
Puppetry was an early influence and after interacting with the Bread and Puppet Theater and Superior Concept Monsters, he made large scale puppets for the Greenwich Village Halloween parade, demonstrations and environmental theater. He also worked on performance pieces.
When he decided to become a sculptor, movement became his sculptural language. It represented life and unrestricted freedom. â€œIn life everything has its own unique characteristics and patterns of movement,â€ he said. â€œEach movement of the body can be as distinguishable as a fingerprint.â€
Mr. Fennell will graduate from purchase this month and plans to return to the Rhinebeck area and begin his career as an artist.