Hydrogen and Nitrogen

By David Kimball Anderson
Patinated steel, 2012

The sculpture Hydrogen and Nitrogen by David Kimball Anderson on the Karl Stirner Arts Trail Artist in Easton, Pennsylvania, featuring two balls made of patinated steel, each on its own pedestal.

Born in Los Angeles, California, David Kimball Anderson has a career spanning over 40 years. He provided the KSAT with his own commentary on his piece, Hydrogen and Nitrogen:

First, in much of my work, I repeatedly make reference to the heavens to both establish perspective and indulge in beauty. A clear night sky is beauty beyond my capacity to absorb. The vastness of deep space relieves me of many minor self-indulgent worries.

Hydrogen: You will notice a block of iron beneath the orb. I am fascinated with the composition and forms of matter in deep space. It is somehow all very real while all so very mysterious. I find aesthetic pleasure in the space between things. The atmosphere, for lack of better definition, of deep space may seem void of substance. Yet ‘void’ is quite real. Hydrogen represents the visceral of deep space.

Nitrogen is the basis of alive matter here on our planet. The connectedness of the complexities of deep space and Earth is complete without interference. To view the mineral makeup of, say, granite on earth (or fall leaves) and the makeup of a certain gaseous composition within a distant galaxy is direct. We are privileged to live at this intense close range to the ever-moving physical events on Earth. We are an extraordinary planet … But, of course, aren’t they all!

The pedestals for the two orbs were inspired by a 17th-century Italian table and an 18th-century French table, prized antiques in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Thus the elegance of the pedestals reinforces the beauty of the elements to the artist.

Learn more about David Kimball Anderson.