A new outdoor sculpture begun by a former UO faculty member before his death and finished by a student has found a home in the UO’s Memorial Quad.
The new public art, Jan Zach’s sculpture “Lady,” was donated to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art last year. The 14-foot-tall, painted steel sculpture is located on the lawn between Prince Lucien Campbell and Condon halls.
“Lady” was Zach’s final project. The sculpture originated as a commission from his friend, Inacio Peixoto (in memory of his wife Amelinha), and was a work in progress at the time of his death in 1986. Ten years later, Zach’s former student Jerry Harpster fabricated the sculpture as his late mentor had envisioned it.
“Its monolithic presence harkens back to Zach’s earlier steel flower sculptures of the 1960s,” said Danielle Knapp, the McCosh Associate Curator at the art museum, “and it is the culmination of his interest in larger-than-life variations on the female form.”
Zach is highly regarded as a contributor to the development of modernism in the Pacific Northwest and served on the faculty of the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts from 1958 to 1979. He sculpted in a variety of media, including wood, cast aluminum and stainless steel.
His works were experimental yet grounded in modern aesthetics and forms. Freedom and the human condition were constant sources of inspiration.
This new installation is a short walk from Zach’s cast iron and concrete compound sculpture “Prometheus” (1958) on the museum’s northwest lawn.