This private commission for a new Olson Kundig residence in Gig Harbor marks the first commission by the artist developed specifically for Bronze. Like stone, bronze is considered a ‘forever’ material. In this way, its materiality speaks to the legacy promise of the expression, a cornerstone of Rhodes’ work.
The commission site sits on the Puget Sound with powerful views of the Olympic Mountains. However, the new residence is set far back from the shore. This layout prompted Rhodes’ response to location and suggested the subject. In this way, Poseidon pulls the energy of the sea up into the site and makes it available to the modern tower that forms the basis of the residence design. Functioning as a fountain, Poseidon’s strong body and form hold aloft a bronze shell. This becomes the font for the flowing water whose soothing sounds echo between the new buildings of the site.
While Poseidon’s ancient presence works to activate the energy of the entrance to the residence, his aggregated form hints at more serious contemporary issues. Assembled from symbolic ‘sea trash’ and tangled in abandoned line from commercial fishing, this god is weakened but not gone. Poseidon’s chthonic form continues to draw strength and give us access to the numinous sea, despite our contemporary abuse of this god’s ancestorial home.
Cast at the famed Fonderia Artistica Battaglia in Milan, Italy, Poseidon continues Rhodes’ work with this iconic artist resource. In 2016, Rhodes became the first American artist to be invited to cast at the foundry.