Passacaglia

#02 Passacaglia

Ann Preston
American, b. 1942

Passacaglia, 2007

Steel, plaster, and acrylic paint, 20' x 37' x 5.5'

Gift of Manon Caine Russell, Kathryn Caine Wanlass, and the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation, NEHMA


Ann Preston’s Passacaglia is permanently installed in the lobby of the Manon Caine Russell Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall. The monumental wall relief adorns the entire space between the interior entrances of the performance hall. Preston collaborated with the building’s architects, the Boston-based Sasaki Associates, Inc., to integrate it into the lobby. She generated its unique geometric design of repeating tetrahedral shapes from a mathematical formula, thereby paying homage to the formulations of music composition. Music also informed the title of the sculpture; “passacaglia” refers to an instrumental composition with continuous variations over a ground bass. Here, Preston applies the term to create a sculpture representing harmony and melody to the eye.