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Garfield Essay: Works of Art at ISI : In The Garden by Jennifer Bartlett

The latest addition to ISl's collection of corporate art is the 10'8" × 33'6" (325.12cm × 1021.08cm) mural "In the Garden" by New York artist Jennifer Bartlett. Consisting of 270 one-foot-square steel plates, Bartlett's mural (Figures 1-4, at right and below) portrays the garden behind the villa she lived in while visiting Nice, France. The focus of Bartlett's mural is a rectangular pool, on the edge of which stands a small statue of a urinating cherub. Painted with Testor's Pla enamel, the image is repeated five times. In each repetition, the viewer's perspective and the time of day change. In the section on the reader's left in Figure 4, below, the viewpoint is aerial, or "bird's-eye;' and the time of day is morning; in the last section on the far right of Figure 4, the viewpoint is from a "worm's-eye" level, and night has fallen.

"In the Garden" actually consists of two murals, identical in appearance except that one (Figures 1and 4) is assembled in conventional fashion on the north wall of ISI's main lobby, while sections of the other are randomly dispersed throughout the building.Two of these sections are shown in Figures 2 and 3, below.The gathering together of the scattered sections of the mural into an intelligible,integral whole in the lobby represents ISI's information-gathering and systematizing functions.