Study for Left-Sided Angel
Stephen DeStaebler (American, 1933–2011)
Drawing, grey paper
Commissioned by the Iowa Art in State Builidngs Program for the Parks Library, with additional support for ISU's Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. In the Art on Campus Preparatory Studies and Maquette Collection, Christian Petersen Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
A looming figure on campus, Left-Sided Angel by Stephen De Staebler greets all who enter the University Library. In this drawing, the rugged, unrefined nature of the figure’s body and single wing is shown in contrast with the sleek modern lines of the library’s architecture. This figure has no facial features, only one leg, one arm, and is missing much of the detail accompanying the human figure. Placed outside the library, interpretations vary—is this figure becoming more refined through study and growth, perceived in the act of transformation? Or as a protector of the space, a sacred guardian? Or you might view this figure as broken down by human’s search for knowledge. What is your interpretation of this ambiguous sculpture?