Formerly on Locust Walk east of 36th Street
|Wow, he must have spent about 8 seconds designing this. Image from philart.net.|
When the University of Pennsylvania was building their tall dorm towers some decades ago, they needed to satisfy the good ol' Percent for Art requirement. In 1967, they threw down $55,000 for this particular part of it and purchased this 7 ton, 11 foot square of steel. The cube was called We Lost. Oh, we lost alright. They installed it in 1976.
The origin story of the name and design of We Lost is shrouded in a bunch of fracockta-baloney. One story says that sculptor Tony Smith was working on a piece that he called Cosa Nostra and fucked up the casting process. He reused it and called it We Lost as "an inside joke".
However, that's a different story than the newspaper articles about the piece in 1982. In one Smith infers that We Lost means We Lost the Vietnam War and that the arch-shapes of the cube are inverted versions of the Ancient Roman victory arches. What a bullshitter. Recent articles kissing the sculptures' ass now say that the Vietnam stuff was other peoples' interpretation of the work, not Smith's idea. Yeah, right.
In 1999, the sculpture was starting to get all tarnished and fucked up, so it was sent away to get restored. The university replaced it with a copy of Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture. Philadelphia and that LOVE sculpture are inexplicably linked through time and space. That sculpture is on display all over the world but has somehow become associated with Philadelphia. UPenn students liked the sculpture so much that it became a new campus landmark of sorts. It became clear that We Lost wasn't fucking coming back.
For years, mysteries swirled about where the statue was. In reality, most of the time it was just sitting in storage in Swedesboro, New Jersey. A simple Google search can find times it went on the road. For example, in 2006 it was on display in the Mathew Marks Gallery in NYC along with some other Smith sculptures.
|Wow, what range this guy has.|