Period & Style
Sasson Soffer has worked throughout his career as both a painter and a sculptor. Informed by the work of Mark Rothko and other Abstract Expressionist artists with whom he studied in New York in the early 1950s, Soffer’s encaustic on panel paintings and steel sculptures display his interest in sweeping, gestural forms and monumental scale. Soffer’s 1973 outdoor sculpture East Gate/West Gate is constructed of welded stainless steel tubes, arranged in a dynamic curvilinear composition. Soffer was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and later moved to New York where he attended Brooklyn College. Soffer’s paintings were included in two Whitney Biennials, and his work is a part of the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York. The Indianapolis Museum of Art acquired this work as a gift from the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1980. The sculpture, East Gate/West Gate by Sasson Soffer, is one of four IMA works on long-term loan to IUPUI. The three other sculptures were moved to IUPUI by truck in January 2009. Due to East Gate/West Gate’s large size, 24x40x30 ft., the piece was transported via helicopter. The IMA identified a flight path along the White River that presented the fewest interruptions to local traffic, but required seven bridges to be closed temporarily. Each bridge closed for only a matter of minutes.
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