Civic Art

Art on Display at the Wortham Center

Paley Sculptures

The Paley Sculptures are decorative, ribbon-like sculptures flowing gracefully on either side of the Wortham Center front entrance escalators. Muted pale green, mauve, orange and purple are the dominant colors in these magnificent stairway sculptures, which mark the artist's first use of color in his steel sculpture work. Collectively, the Stairway Sculptures weigh 30 tons. Some of the individual pieces of art have as many as 400 pieces of steel. Albert Paley, the American artist, completed the sculpture in 1987.

The Quilting Party

This paining by John Biggers (1924-2001) was commissioned by the City of Houston and donated by Susan and Maurice McAshan. The composition of the mural is symmetrical, with color and light placed to direct the eye to the triple focal points of the morning star, evening star and family unit. There is still a requisite shallowness to the spatial imagery but the work takes on an aerial perspective, as though the viewer were no longer earthbound. Biggers' linear regularity has given way to a swirling feel of motion.