MATERIALS: weathering steel, stainless steel and bronze plate
DIMENSIONS: Sculpture A: 59’6″ H, 70,000 pounds; Sculpture B: 60’9″ H, 51,100 pounds; Sculpture C: 59’10” H, 56,000 pounds; Sculpture D: 46’4″ H, 46,000 pounds
DATE: August 2010
LOCATION: Council Bluffs, Iowa, S. 24th St. Bridge over Interstate 80
A monumental gateway by Albert Paley over Iowa Interstate 80 at the S. 24th St. Bridge in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Consisting of four massive mixed-metal sculptures, Paley’s Odyssey is a gateway for both the State of Iowa and the City of Council Bluffs. It creates a destination that can be seen from miles away. For drivers passing under the bridge, the sculptures tower up to 100 feet above the interstate, establishing a true sense of place.
Constructed of stainless steel, weathering steel and bronze plate, the sculptures speak to the region’s long history of transformation. Undulating ribbons, jagged spears and abstract shapes reach, like skyscrapers of the plains, against a backdrop of changing skies and an expansive agricultural landscape.
The magnitude of this dramatic gateway is the largest of Paley’s career. He says Iowa’s western border is the perfect place. Asked, why create a destination in Council Bluffs, Iowa, for millions of drivers passing through this spot in middle America — “If it weren’t for the Statue of Liberty, I’m not sure many people would remember that island,” explained Paley. “Drivers will see this from miles away and their view will change as they get closer and closer. As they pass through the gateway, they’ll experience something and they’ll remember.”
Fabricated near the artist’s Rochester, New York studio, Paley moved fabrication to an extra large facility to accommodate cranes to assemble the sculptures up to 60 feet in height and weighing as much as 70,000 pounds.
Albert Paley is a world renowned metal sculptor. From his studio in Rochester, New York, he has spent the last 30 years producing memorable gateways and large-scale site specific works. The magnitude of Odyssey is the largest of Paley’s career. He moved fabrication to a larger facility to accommodate two large cranes and individual sculptures more than 50 feet high.
Other well-known public sculptures by Albert Paley include:
- Portal Gates, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution.
- National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., Good Shepard Chapel Entrance Gates.
- St. Louis Zoological Park, St. Louis, Missouri, Animals Always, exterior plaza sculpture.