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spr ing
ight floods the living
room of Elijah “David”
Herschler’s house in
Montecito. Set in a narrow
hollow between two ridges near
East Valley Road, the home affords views of mountains,
soaring palms, chirping birds, and swathes of sky
through its numerous picture windows.
But there’s just as much beauty inside the three-
story house, where more than a dozen of
Herschler’s kinetic stainless steel sculptures
are suspended from the ceilings, casting
light and shadows around the rooms
and reflecting images on their
pristinely polished surfaces.
Dubbed “Ribbons in Space,” the
sculptures appear to be just that
– softly curved elegant pieces
that often appear to be floating
in mid-air.
The slightest breeze or a gentle touch from a human
hand will set them rotating slowly, the reflections
seeming to dance up or down along the exquisite
surfaces, the steel almost appearing to change
shape, as if composed of a viscous fluid.
“The sculptures aren’t just something to look
at, they’re also an experience,” Herschler says.
“The movement is very significant.”
Other examples of Herschler’s Ribbons
in Space are depicted in photographs. One
shows a large sculpture that sits in a reflecting
pond at a private home in Hope Ranch, while
more reside outside other Montecito abodes,
including those belonging to local art collectors
Mr. and Mrs. Jon Lovelace, Ginny Hunter and
Jane Noble.
On one wall, there’s a photo of a sculpture that was
part of Herschler’s NASA Kennedy Space Center
one-man exhibit in Cocoa Beach, Florida, seen by
more than one million people. His works – which
range from 12 inches to more than 25 feet tall –
also hang in more than a dozen museums, and in
corporate headquarters of some 35 corporations,
such as Fortune 500 companies Daimler-Benz,
Hartford Life Insurance and General Motors, many of
whose executives have also purchased Ribbons for their
private collections. NASA’s Kennedy space center houses a big
ribbon in its lobby.
Herschler’s sculptures can be found in private homes across the
affluent art-loving communities of Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, New York
City, Chicago, and Aspen. All told, among galleries, corporate spaces and,
mostly, private spaces, his sculptures reside in 16 countries around the
world, including two dozen between Switzerland and Germany alone.
But it’s not surprising if his name doesn’t ring a bell in local
art circles. Herschler – a very low-key guy who largely
avoids the public light – might just be the best-kept secret
in the Montecito art world.
by Steven Libowitz
photos by Wayne McCall
Ribbons In Space