Robert Graham was well known for his public commission art projects, ranging from the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984 to the 1997 FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Graham’s “Fountain Figures I-IV” made their debut at Halo, 330 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles, on his birthday, August 19.
“(The Fountain Figures) were initially installed at the Wells Fargo Center, which is now Halo,” said Graham’s son, Steven Graham. “It was basically a relocation. Originally the fountains were in the Wells Fargo Center before Halo did its remodel and renovations of the whole plaza area.”
Steven, who works under the Robert Graham Studio/Estate, was contacted by Karen Amiel two years ago about relocating the fountains. The Halo plaza will be unveiled later this year with the four bronze figures bringing an interactive element to the walking area.
“The fountains are part of the plaza that connects Grand to Hope,” Steven said. “It’s a pedestrian plaza really that has a lot of traffic during the day—you know prepandemic travel all day long.”
The Fountain Figures were inspired by gymnastic athleticism, strength and beauty. The fountain water flows over bronze and granite into a shallow reflecting pool integrated into the Halo’s landscape.
During his career, Robert replicated the female form in a range of precisely detailed works that were intimately sized to large public monuments.
“I am extremely gratified to see my father’s work given new life to a broader audience and grateful to Brookfield Properties for their commitment to thoughtfully integrating the fountains into the soon-to-be dedicated Graham Garden,” Steven said.
He hopes pedestrians enjoy his father’s work that he feels brings a sense of community to the space.
“It’s really uncontrollable who sees them, how they see them,” Steven said. “It is an outside setting, so it’s a very different and unique interaction with artwork which is exciting in a way that people engage sometimes specifically to go look at them.
“Sometimes it’s just randomly because they are just walking from point A to point B and they look up and see something. I think that the public engagement is a really important element and also a community connection.”
Steven loves all of the Fountain Figures but especially likes Fountain Figure IV.
“I like the movement and how the water feature is sort of the most visual and dynamic,” Steven said. “I think the setting is beautiful and the way that they reflect and have a beautiful sort of calming movement on them.”
Steven looks forward to the day when the garden is full of people and when the world will get “back to some normalcy.”