Born 1948, Philadelphia, PA
Lives and works in Norwell, MA


Year created:
Butterfly Effect, Rick Brown

Butterfly Effect, Rick Brown, 2004

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Approximately 75 geometric objects, dimesions variable

Concrete, wood, steel
Lent by the Artist, Supported by the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund

No longer on view.

Rick Brown's site-specific sculpture comprised of numerous concrete spheres and rectangular rods will be displayed in the Sculpture Park for several years. During this time, the artist will occasionally return to DeCordova to rearrange elements of his composition. The concept of Butterfly Effect is based on the passage of time and resultant change, and the alterations Brown will make to the work will be responses to external stimuli other than the sculpture itself. Unrelated occurrences will spur the artist to return to the site, and these moments will therefore be associated with the artwork. Over time, the sculpture will be completely altered, and will never return to its original configuration, demonstrating the impossibility of ever fully reversing past actions. As in nature, Brown's work will be in constant flux and motion.

The weightiness of the sculpture's concrete pieces is countered by its potential to be moved and reconfigured. Butterfly Effect demonstrates a metamorphic process and, like a caterpillar that develops into a butterfly, the sculpture will evolve as the artist sees fit. At first glance, the piece appears disordered, but at its core exists a purposeful plan. The spheres and rectangular rods create an interlocking, woven pattern echoing the design of a cocoon. The rods are the "fibers" holding the spheres together in a mass that represents the "butterfly"—the entity that will undergo transformation.