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An Engaging Sculpture Taking Shape At The Nelson-Atkins

If you’ve walked or driven by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art recently you’ve probably noticed a flurry of activity on the southeast corner of the grassy lawn. Work is underway to ready the site for the installation of a new sculpture, Glass Labyrinth, a triangular-shaped, glass-walled labyrinth designed by artist Robert Morris, a native of Kansas City, Mo.

During the 1960s and 70s, Morris was involved in the development of art movements, such as Minimalism, Process Art and Earthworks. Much of his work has focused on the relationship between artwork and viewer.

Glass Labyrinth marks the first permanent Robert Morris labyrinth to be installed in the United States. It’s 62-foot by 62-foot by 62-foot, with 7-foot panels of transparent glass. As part of an international public art exhibition, a similar temporary glass labyrinth was installed in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“The idea of a labyrinth as a place in which we lose ourselves in order to find ourselves is intriguing,” said curatorial affairs director Antonia Boström in a news release. “This sculpture encompasses many things: engagement, participation, a spirit of theatricality, and also pushes boundaries between an art object and personal experience.”

The sculpture is expected to be fully installed on May 22 – in time for a public celebration of the 25th anniversary of the 22-acre sculpture park, named for Donald J. Hall.

“Through the years, this oasis of green space has continually evolved as a place of both activity and quiet inspiration in which visitors can enjoy an incredible collection of art,” said CEO and director Julián Zugazagoitia.

Laura Spencer has been an arts reporter at KCUR since 2001. Follow her on Twitter @lauraspencer.