Where's the Art?
Hanging in the E street atrium of the GSA Headquarters Building is a newly created work of art from American artist Jacob Hashimoto. Commissioned through GSA’s Art in Architecture program, Jacob Hashimoto’s Kites is currently only partially installed. Designed to fill two symmetrical glass courtyard atriums inside the GSA building, installation of the second half of Hashimoto’s artwork is still pending construction of the second atrium.
Kites, Jacob Hashimoto, 2013
Jacob Hashimoto uses traditional kite-making techniques to create distinctive artworks that are comprise thousands of individual elements strung together and suspended in space to form multi-layered fields of imagery. His art combines the three- dimensional qualities of sculpture, such as volume and scale, with the flat, pictorial aspects of painting, operating as a hybrid of the two.
Hashimoto created Kites specifically for the new east and anticipated west atria of the historic GSA headquarters building. (The second half of the artwork will be installed upon completion of the west atrium.) The sculpture is composed of approximately 2,000 polycarbonate and stainless steel elements, which the artist refers to as kites. Hashimoto has screen printed the diamond-shaped kites with a variety of abstract patterns and landscape imagery, which can suggest any number of associations—including the diversity, complexity and interconnectedness of the critical work performed by GSA and the panoply of other federal agencies it serves. Similarly, the artwork’s sky, water and plant imagery highlights the importance of green practices in GSA’s mission. This seemingly delicate yet monumental sculpture cascades through the light- filled atrium, offering viewers new experiences of the artwork and the surrounding architectural space from every vantage point.
The GSA Art in Architecture Program commissions the nation’s leading artists to create large-scale works of art for new federal buildings. These artworks enhance the civic meaning of federal architecture and showcase the vibrancy of American visual arts. Together, the art and architecture of federal buildings create a lasting cultural legacy for the people of the United States.
Fulfilling the recommendation of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 Ad Hoc Committee for Federal Architecture that “where appropriate, fine art should be incorporated in the designs of federal buildings with emphasis on the work of living American artists,” GSA convenes a panel comprised of art professionals, civic and community representatives, and the project’s lead design architect to discuss opportunities for artists to participate in the building project. This panel reviews a diverse pool of artist candidates and nominates finalists for GSA to evaluate. Artists who receive federal commissions work with the project architects and others as members of a design team to ensure that the artworks are meaningfully integrated into the overall project.
GSA Fine Art Collection
The GSA Fine Arts Program manages the collection of fine art found throughout executive branch federal buildings in order to ensure its safety, accessibility, preservation, and appropriate use in order to enhance and promote high-quality work environments for federal agencies and the public they serve. The Fine Arts Collection is one of our nation's oldest and largest public art collections. It consists of permanently installed and moveable mural paintings, sculptures, architectural or environmental works of art, and works on paper dating from 1850 to the present. These civic works of art are in federal buildings and courthouses across the United States. In addition, more than 20,000 small moveable New Deal works of art are on long-term loan to museums and other nonprofit institutions. Maintained by GSA as a part of our national and cultural heritage, the Fine Arts Collection serves as a reminder of the important tradition of individual creative expression.