Benbow Bullock, sculptor


After graduating from Wesleyan University, he learned gas welding at UC San Francisco extension with Mel Henderson and MIG welding at the San Francisco Art Institute with David Anderson. Working on steel, silicon bronze, aluminum and stainless steel, Bullock quickly developed an affinity for the simple elegance of hard edge geometric constructivism as his preferred form of sculpture.

Recently Benbow is immersed in a series of highly burnished silicon bronze and stainless steel endless columns. The first in this series was a 12’H bronze “Tournesol Sauvage!”, completed in 1998, which now is in a new sculpture park overlooking the historic Susquehanna River in Pittston, Pennsylvania. This was followed by two more silicon bronze columns “Heroic Encounter” 24’H in the permanent collection of The Chicago Athenaeum Sculpture Park. And a 16’H “Darwin’s Bulldog” installed on the passenger entrance to MetroWest commuter station, Schaumburg, Illinois. In November, 2001 his 32’H burnished stainless steel “Homage to Brancusi” was placed in the entry of the new Chianti Park in Tuscany near Sienna.

"Polaris & Beyond", a similar 32’H burnished stainless steel endless column has been installed in a private collection in the Sierra foothills. The sculpture is sited on a hillside location in alignment with south-north coordinates of a 45’ diameter Chartes-style labyrinth pointing to true North with the snow capped Sierra Nevadas in the distance in the day and the north star at night.

August, 2004 "Ode to the Snark" Bullock's 50'H burnished stainless steel endless column sculpture was installed on the roof sculpture garden of the Oakland Museum, in their permanent collection. The Snark was the bane of Jack London's sailboat, where he lived and worked while while staying in Oakland, before sailing to the South Pacific. In the Good Old Days he could have seen Ode to the Snark from Heinhold's First and Last Chance Saloon, on the Estuary!

Bullock’s web site : has attracted the attention of many viewers while surfing the internet, including those mentioned above. Photographs and more information on "Endless Columns" can be found by clicking on “recent” on his home page. Also on the web site are links to over 600 sculpture parks and gardens worldwide. He has visited and/or has work in many of them.

Early summer 2002, two new “N” shaped burnished stainless steel sculptures were air freighted from SFO to Heathrow, and delivered to The Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park in Surrey, 40 miles southwest of London.

Bullock says “To me sculptures are abstract sundials. Sculpture fascinates me because you can walk around it or through it in some cases. There is no beginning or end like music. Sculptures have a life of their own, casting shadows that change in shape and length daily, and with the changing seasons. Some shadows are influenced by overhead clouds, reflections from bodies of water, buildings, trees, leaves, people passing by, and even wind blown paper and other detritus.”

Another aspect of sculpture that can be enjoyed is its sincerity. Painting and drawing require the use of illusion to create another dimension. Perspective allows the mind to imagine the appearance of depth. Sculpture achieves the direct reality of physical space without simulation.

In parallel with the fabrication of endless columns, he is adding to his semaphore series of sculptures. These sculptures are influenced by railroad signals that use signal arms of various shapes and colors and positions to control traffic. The series started in 1985 with “My Mother Was a Jazz Singer” and now numbers over 16 semaphore aspects. Each is one of a kind. The most recent in the semaphore series are “Wabash Cannonball” and “Deval Tower”.

His work has been influenced by his travels to architectural, archaeological and historic sites worldwide. Knossos, Delphi and Mycenae; and Hattusas an ancient Hittite city on the Anatolian Plain that predates the Argolid. In the Salisbury plain he has visited Avebury, Silbury, Knowlton Circles and of course, Stonehenge. Not to mention the megalithic alignments at Carnac in Brittany which he will visit again this Autumn. He has not missed the raked white gravel gardens of Kyoto, the stupas of Ayutthaya; nor the Bories at Gordes.

His sculptures are in private and public collections worldwide: AT&T; Di Rosa Preserve, Napa Valley; The Oakland Museum of California; Europas Parkas, Vilnius, Lithuania; Drechtoevers Sculpture Park, Zwijndrecht, Holland; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ and a public park overlooking the Mediterranean, at Beaulieu-sur-mer, France. And Hakone Open-air Museum in the foothills of Mt. Fujiyama has two of his sculptures. August 2004 Bullock's 50 foot "Ode to the Snark" was installed in the permanent collection of the Oakland Museum. The Snark joins 2 other Bullock sculptures in their collection, "Meknes" and "Elsewhere".

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Benbow Bullock, Sculptor

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