Born 1947, Princeton, NJ
Works in Providence, RI

Year created:
Skimmer, Jonathan Bonner
Click images for larger view

13' x 4" x 1'

copper, brass, granite
deCordova Permanent Collection 1991.6, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Chazan

No longer on view.

Jonathan Bonner elegantly combines art and science using fluid forms, which suggest function while maintaining a sculptural identity. Skimmer is from a series of weathervanes Bonner began in 1983. Whimsical and functional, the weathervanes blend Modernist biomorphic abstract sculpture and kinetic sculpture with the tradition of American Folk Art. The gestural spontaneity of line and compositional balance of form and material make the weathervane look as if it is swinging quietly, slowly, even in the absence of wind. According to the artist, "In one sense, Skimmer is about cones. I had the thin brass cone that is the tail section in my studio for a year before I decided to use it. The piece is a response to that slender cone. I had the base made, then constructed the top element. It is balanced on a ball bearing and rotates with the wind. As the piece rotates, the lower cylinder describes a cone in space parallel to the granite cone. The upper cylinder describes a squat cone, pointed down. In another sense, Skimmer is a bird taking a bite."