Artist: William Crutchfield
Date created: 1981
The object is composed of four separate sections that are bolted together with tabs that are hidden behind wood panels. There is an inner steel or wooden core around which the panels have been attached. The cladding of the sculpture consists of eight-ply birch plywood and Honduras mahogany. The four sections of the column are designed with punctuation marks in a font of the artist’s design. Section one is a question mark; Section two is a set of parentheses that enclose a forward slash and a semi colon with an m dash – on top; Section three is an asterisk with brackets that enclose a colon; Section four is a set of quotation marks with an exclamation point and a period on top.
According to the artist, the sculpture was finished with Deft Clear Wood Finish as a sealer, then a layer of Deft Clear Wood Finish (Gloss) and then 2 coats of Deft Clear Wood Finish (Semi-Gloss).
Punctuation Spire was originally commissioned in 1981 by A. Alfred Taubman for the Beverly Center, an eight-story shopping mall in Los Angeles, California. It was later gifted to Herron School of Art and Design. The sculpture was initially intended to be displayed in the foyer of Eskenazi Hall, the building containing Herron, but it was found to be too tall for the space. It was then placed in storage until the completion of the IUPUI Campus Center, which provided a more spacious area for the 28-foot tall work. In July 2010, Punctuation Spire was installed in its current location within the foyer of the Campus Center
Punctuation Spire represents the English language and its importance throughout the development of civilization. It is one of a series of four monumental works, including Alphabet Spire (Westfarms Mall, Corbins Corner, Connecticut), Countdown (Short Hills Mall, Short Hills, New Jersey) and Wish (Marley Station Mall, Glen Burnie, Maryland).
William Crutchfield was born in 1932 in Indianapolis, where he earned his B.F.A. in painting from the John Herron Art Institute (later the Herron School of Art & Design, IUPUI) in 1956. He received his M.F.A. from Tulane University and later returned to Herron to teach foundation studies and advanced drawing from 1962-1965. A former Fulbright Scholar, Crutchfield is an internationally known artist working in a variety of mediums, from drawings, paintings, and lithographs to monumental sculpture. He has been featured in exhibitions around the world, with works in collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Tate Museum, London. Crutchfield died April 20, 2015, at his home in San Pedro, California.
Additional information is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuation_Spire