Ozymandias by Julian Schnabel
New Yorkers relaxing under a tree, enjoying the summer sun. In this case, the tree is Julian Schnabel’s cast bronze sculpture, Ozymandias, 1986-1989, which was exhibited on the plaza of the Seagram Building in the summer of 1990.
Jim Dine of the NYT covered the exhibition in Review/Art; The State of the City as Sculptors See It (July 1990). He wrote: “Julian Schnabel has a large outdoor sculpture in front of the Seagram Building, and it’s not bad. It is called ‘Ozymandias,’ after the Shelley poem about the vanity of power. It consists essentially of a large log that the artist found on a Bridgehampton beach, took home with him, carved, cast in bronze and painted white. There is a face in the wood looking upward. The sculpture has the feeling of a totem that has collapsed, or of a solitary figure or a natural force that is now lying in state amid the surrounding walls of skyscrapers.”
Dine alludes to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s (1792 – 1822) sonnet published in 1818 (see full text below). It is probably Shelley’s most famous short poem.
Julian Schnabel and guest next to his sculpture, Ozymandias photo: Claire Hunter
TodayOzymandias permanently resides at the Philip Johnson Glass House outside the Sculpture Gallery and is viewed by visitors from around the world. Last January, Julian Schnabel visited the Glass House and viewed his works on display, including Ozymandias.
For more photos from the Schnabel Glass House visit, click here
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Filed under: Glass House Photo of the Week, julian schnabel, ozymandias, Philip Johnson, Philip Johnson Glass House, Seagram Building