Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master Sculptor by Kathryn Greenthal

By Kathryn Greenthal

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The second type of perception is more directed: like when we are specifically looking for a shoemaker. The psychologists qualify this manner as a form of “pattern recognition:” we approach the world with a goal in mind, and we try to match something out there with something inside the head. This focused thinking might also be directed toward contemplation. 2 Easter landscape, near Paoli, Pennsylvania, 1982. Attending the everyday landscape Attending 122 on contemplation, since most of the enlightened ones tell us that much of 2 the process depends on our letting go.

The contemplative garden was less an invention than a reduction and recasting of existing elements and spatial ideas into a new composite. In Japan, several garden traditions have coexisted at any one time, never just a single type as we might be led to believe by courses in landscape history. 14 The gardens offered animation and shade, and manifested the passing of the seasons of which the Japanese are so culturally aware. The Buddhist temple compounds of the era, in contrast, relied on courtyards lined with gravel – perhaps raked – framed by buildings and roofed corridors.

2 Salk Institute, near La Jolla, California. 3 Salk Institute, near La Jolla, California. The courtyard’s “River of Life” fountain Louis Kahn, 1959–65 The laboratory complex Upon entering the courtyard, the Institute’s organization begins to unfold. Five towers face each other laterally across the courtyard. Forming four-story high porticos of scientists’ studies, their ground floor has passages aligned like arcades (interrupted by the gaps between the towers), while their second and fourth levels (which are offset from the laboratory levels) contain studies.

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