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March 2015

Abstract metal sculpture on a wooden floor with gray backdrop.

Abstract metal sculpture on a wooden floor with gray backdrop.

New Exhibit at Santa Clara University's de Saisset Museum Features "Squaring the Circle" Sculptures by Brian Wall

Bay Area sculptor Brian Wall toys with the impossible in a new exhibition titled "Squaring the Circle" at the de Saisset Museum from April 10 through June 14.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Mar. 31, 2015—Bay Area sculptor Brian Wall toys with the impossible in a new exhibition titled Squaring the Circle at the de Saisset Museum. Showing from April 10 through June 14, Squaring the Circle features six large-scale sculptures installed inside the museum and three monumental works placed on the campus of Santa Clara University. In addition, the show includes 14 large-format Sumi ink drawings also created by Wall.

Guest curated by Dr. Peter Selz and Sue Kubly, Squaring the Circle focuses on Wall’s most recent work, a series by the same title. The pieces bring together stainless steel beams of varying lengths into a variety of upright or lateral compositions. In each sculpture the arcs are formed of squared tubes that, when taken together, create a circle. For the artist, the title of the series is purely descriptive, though its connection to the mathematical impossibility of constructing a square with the same area as a given circle is not lost on him.

Though Wall has shown regularly in recent years, Squaring the Circle is his first major museum exhibition in more than two decades. The show offers a rare opportunity to engage with his sculpture as it was meant to be seen: in magnitude and in multitude.

To enter Squaring the Circle is much like walking into an abstract line drawing. It is at once experiential and visual. The pieces offer new information from every angle; the compositions change based on the viewer’s point of view. Implied motion is inherent in Wall’s sculpture. Some of his pieces rest firmly and decidedly on their sides; others teeter precariously along an edge, seemingly at risk of falling flat at any moment.

“The appeal of Wall’s sculpture is its simplicity. It is honest and uncomplicated, never trying to be something more than it is,” says Lindsey Kouvaris, the de Saisset Museum’s assistant director for exhibitions and programs. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the work of this important artist and to do so inside the museum as well as on the campus itself.”

Squaring the Circle is accompanied by a book of the same title published by the de Saisset Museum in association with Hackett|Mill Gallery of San Francisco. Edited by Dr. Selz, the publication includes contributions by Paul J. Karlstrom, George Neubert, and Lindsey W. Kouvaris.

A reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, April 9 at 6 p.m. A book signing and walk through will be offered on Wednesday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m.

About the de Saisset Museum
The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay’s free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the Santa Clara University campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The de Saisset Museum supports Santa Clara University’s goal of educating the whole person through a diverse and accessible range of exhibitions, collections, and educational programs that highlight the art and history of the San Francisco Bay Area. As a center for lifelong learning, the de Saisset facilitates discovery, experience, and inspiration through engaging objects of art and history.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact
Tina Vossugh | SCU Media Relations| | (408) 554-5126