Campus News

‘The Snake is Out’ at UH lawn

A striking new sculpture has a home at UH for the next four years. Minimalist pioneer Tony Smith’s “The Snake is Out” is on loan from the Menil Collection, who last had it on display in 2006.

The latest addition to the University Public Art Collection is made of angular steel and stands 15 feet tall, 24 feet wide and 18 feet in length.

“We are excited to have ‘The Snake Is Out’ on loan from such a prestigious institution as The Menil Collection and honored they’d entrust us with this important artwork by one of America’s most influential artists of his time,” Michael Guidry, curator for UH’s Public Art Collection, said. “This sculpture complements some of the existing pieces in our collection from the same era.”

“The Snake is Out” sculpture marks a recent partnership between the Menil Collection and the University.

Smith’s geometric sculptures are exhibited all over the U.S. and in Denmark and the Netherlands. Bryant Park in Manhattan hosted “The Snake is Out” in the late 1960s.

“The Menil Collection is pleased to partner with the University of Houston to display Tony Smith’s ‘The Snake Is Out’ for this long-term loan and to support the institution’s already strong collection of works of art on its campus,” Menil Curator Michelle White said.

“Considering Smith’s architectural background, it is fitting that we were able to site this extraordinary example of modern sculpture near the School of Art and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture.”

Menil’s Chief Conservator Brad Epley said the recent painting and retouching of the sculpture was part of ongoing research at the National Gallery of Art and the Tony Smith Estate in order to ensure the sculpture’s appearance represents the artist’s intent.

Campus students and visitors can view “The Snake Is Out” and more than 500 other works at the main campus and the UH System’s other branches. The UH ARTour app, which provides an interactive map of all of UH’s public art, is available in the App Store and Google Play.

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