San Francisco Art@Site Roger Barr Skygate

Roger Barr



Pier 39 Concourse
honest artwork
A slightly curved bar makes a bend, becomes a flat plate and makes a circular motion around its own axis. Not a perfect curve. The surface of the plate is uneven, it looks like an old the skin, is narrower and then again wider.
Then it comes. The slice takes a sharp dip. The surface is becoming flatter. It seems that it has recieved some self-confidence.
This feels fine. Me too, sometimes I am unsure when I start a major project. During unexpected moments I go with the flow and I feel I can fly. I feel light and can move smooth like flag.
The slice makes one last vertical motion on the side, before it turns into a beam. This beam is flatter and more streight than the other bar. The movement lasts for a moment until it ends up to the ground.
Roger Barr could have made the bar and the disk flatter and paralleled. The transitions could have been perfect round and gradual. But then the feeling would disappear. Than I would not feel uncertainty, desire, excitement and relief. I find Skygate by Roger Barr an honest artwork.
By Theo,

eerlijk kunstwerk
Een lichtelijk gebogen staaf maakt een knik, wordt ineens een platte schijf en maakt een ronde beweging rond zijn as. Geen perfecte ronding. Het oppervlakte van de schijf is onregelmatig, het lijkt op een oude huid, is smaller en dan weer breder.
Dan komt het. De plaat maakt een scherpe knik. Het oppervlakte wordt nu iets vlakker. Het lijkt of het enige zelfvertrouwen heeft gekregen.
Dit voelt fijn. Ook ik begin soms onzeker aan een groot project. Tijdens onverwachtse gebeurtenissen kan ik opgaan in het moment en voel ik eventjes dat ik vliegen kan. Dan voel ik mij licht en kan soepel bewegen zoals een vaandel.
De plaat maakt nog één verticale beweging op de zij, voordat het overgaat in een balk. Deze balk is vlakker en rechter is dan de andere staaf. De beweging houdt nog even aan totdat het eindigt bij de grond.
Roger Barr had de staaf en de schijf vlakker en evenwijdiger kunnen maken. De overgangen hadden perfect rond en geleidelijk kunnen zijn. Maar dan zou het gevoel verdwijnen. Dan zou ik geen onzekerheid, verlangen, spanning en opluchting gevoeld hebben. Ik vind Skygate een Roger Barr een eerlijk kunstwerk.
By Theo,

Aspects of this artwork
Just like Skygate, Pyramid by Josef Erben (Berlin, picture 1, more information) has a soft surface and makes a careful curve. In this artwork the cables give extra tension to the artwork.

The Arch of Lon Pennock (Amsterdam, see picture 2, more details) gives a welcome and is a recognition point, just like Skygate.

Skygate is lacking the figurative association and expressive power of the artwork of Jan de Baat (Amsterdam, see picture 3, more information). Jan de Baat makes you join the happiness, proud and sense of community, which is feld after the liberation from the Nazi’s.

The artwork Loop-Shaped Object by Otto Heuvelink (Lusvormig Object, Amsterdam, picture 4, more information) is modest in comparison to Skygate. This line is more subtle. When the artwork would have been more established, it could refer to a flower.
By Theo,
Roger Barr, a prominent sculptor among whose works is"Skygate, " the first piece of public art along San Francisco's Embarcadero, died Friday in a hospital in Joshua Tree from complications of diabetes.
Mr. Barr had lived in Santa Rosa for 25 years. His works are in the collections of many museums, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Natural Art Museum in Goteborg, Sweden, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Art in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Erected in 1985 as San Francisco's first piece of public art financed by a corporation, the 26-foot-high Skygate is an arch-shaped structure near Pier 35 that was dedicated to longshoreman-philosopher Eric Hoffer.
At its dedication, Hoffer's friend, journalist Eric Sevareid, praised the work a"shining link between sea and sky."
Mr. Barr was born Sept. 17, 1921, in Milwaukee and studied and taught art in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Los Angeles, Paris, San Francisco, Hayward and Santa Rosa.
He was a Navy flier during World War II, spending part of the war as the flight deck officer of the USS Fanshaw.
After the war, he studied and taught art in Los Angeles, then Paris. He was a professor of art at American College in Paris in the early 1960s.
He returned to the United States in 1969. His third marriage in 1971 was to painter and printmaker Elizabeth Quandt. The couple traveled together in England, France and Japan.
He moved to Joshua Tree in 1994 after his wife's death.