Moving East Gate/West Gate by Helicopter



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More information about this artwork by Sasson Soffer
Directly from IMA's Web site.

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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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Nice work, IMA! I love this sculpture and it was fun seeing it fly.

This is fascinating-moving the art, and being able to watch it. The blurbs of info on screen were also interesting. Thanks for recording this event in such a engaging way. I love Art Babble!

The sculpture-cam is a excellent touch! Well played Nuggets!

What fun! The sculpture looks great on the campus of IUPUI, my alma mater.

good job for retirement ...

good job for retirement...

It was a pleasure to work with you all and thank you Mike Bir for your excellent planning check out

Very fun. A new art genre: heli-sculpture.


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00:00:05 Today we are moving the sculpture "East Gate/West Gate" from the museum down to the campus of IUPUI.

00:00:11 We're preparing to begin construction in the art and nature park.

00:00:14 And so, sculptures and other things

00:00:18 have been relocated to IUPUI to make room for some of that ongoing construction.

00:00:25 Those are the pieces made by Sasson Soffer in 1973 in New York City. And it was commissioned, I think for, Battery Park, and it was on display there. And then sometime in the 80's, Robert Yasin, the former director of the museum, had a show

00:00:38 of Soffer's work on the grounds of the museum

00:00:41 and this was a piece that the museum acquired.

00:00:45 Originally, we were planning on actually dismantling this, taking apart, cutting it into parts...

00:00:51 was so disruptive to the art.

00:00:53 It’s actually tubular stainless steel, it's hollow, and its been sawed in half into many pieces and then reassembled here at the museum. It arrived by truck. So, that was the whole reason

00:01:02 to send it by helicopter. We didn't have to cut it in many pieces, put it on a truck, and then reassemble it

00:01:07 which would be a really time consuming and difficult job.

00:01:10 As excited as we all are right’s going to be a wind storm down here and it’s going to change the whole drama of the task.