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artwork in Becker Communication Studies Building

Small World.
MIDDLEBROOK, DAVID
1986
north stairs
bronze, Italian marble, clay
19'x15'x10'
Click to display larger image of Small World
 
Affectionately dubbed the “Becker Ball,” Middlebrooks playful and precarious sculpture is composed of two separate elements. On one side of the stairwell, a 19-foot bronze spiral perilously cradles a pink-and-white-streaked, cubed representation of the world. The carefully inlaid stone reflects present day geography. This mimics the second component of the piece, a five-ton, and five-foot-in-diameter sphere. This element is complex in its many layers of texture, color, stone, and finish. Middlebrook achieves a quilt-like effect with contrasting jagged and smooth stones. While the sphere mimics the shape of the globe, its abstract surface contrasts the literal images found on the stone cube.

Middlebrook has roots as a ceramicist and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1970. He went on to teach at San Jose State University. He is currently a professional sculptor focusing on site-specific work and public and private commissions.