Messenger, Aluminum sculpture, 2005
Given as a gift to the Saginaw Art Museum by the artist herself, the Messenger's form is a highly abstracted one, yet it bears an uncanny resemblance to a staircase, especially near its apex. The inclusion of such a feature may indicate a linkage to the divine. In regards to formalities, Messenger rests on a rombohedron (a 3-dimensional rhombus) and tilts precariously to one side creating tension. The bottom right corner (when observed from the front) is the only part of the form to rest on the base – a quality that recalls lifelike depictions of the Roman god Mercury by realist artists of the 1800s. Even the earliest depictions of Mercury, created during the reign of the Roman Empire, depicted the god in a highly contrapposto fashion. Over time, this depiction was dramatized into portrayals in which only one of his feet rests on the ground, while the other drags behind him in the air.
Messenger’s abstract depiction the Mercury can be further analyzed through mythology. Described as the son of the Roman goddess Maia (one of the Pleiades, or “seven sisters”) and the supreme god Jupiter (more commonly known by his Greek name, Zeus), Mercury is known as the “messenger” god. This relationship implies an emphasis on the idea of communication in Teicher’s work, and, perhaps most evidently, so does the title itself!
Messenger is easily identifiable as a Minimalist work of art by its complete rejection of figural representation and obscure physical form. Minimalism, a movement most commonly associated with the visual arts in America during the 1960s, sought its own artistic truth through the usage of overly-simplified geometric structures, which were typically made from industrial materials.
Learn more about Lois Teicher here.