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Permanent Collection Artists

Charles Albert Szukalski | Dr. Hugo Heyrman | Dre Peeters | David Spicer | Fred Bervoets
Eames Demetrios
Sofie Siegmann

Artists in Residence (click here)

Born April 4, 1945
Furth im Wald, Poland

Died January 25, 2000,
Antwerp, Belgium

The Last Supper 1984
Ghost Rider 1984
Desert Flower 1989
Known for many years in Europe as the sculptor of “ghosts” and a “situation maker,” Albert Szukalski came to the Nevada desert in 1984 to create what is perhaps the most unique piece of his career. Originally designed to endure a mere two years, “The Last Supper” sculpture has not only stood the test of time, but has lived on to become the “genesis” piece of the Goldwell Open Air Museum.

Albert was attracted to the Mojave Desert for many reasons, not the least of which was the Mojave’s resemblance to the deserts of the Middle East. To construct a modern day representation of Christ’s Last Supper, especially so close to Death Valley (where he originally wanted it sited), is eerily appropriate. Working essentially from Leonardo Da Vinci’s fresco of the Last Supper within the desert environment, Szukalski succeeded in blending the two disparate elements into a unified whole. Maintaining the staging of the figures in Leonardo’s work and placing it in the American Southwest allowed the artist to meld Western Artistic tradition with the vast landscape of the New World. Albert Szukalski followed up “The Last Supper” with two other pieces at the site, “Ghost Rider” in 1984 and “Desert Flower” in 1989.

Born 1942, Antwerp, Belgium

Write to Doctor Hugo

Doctor Hugo's
"Museum of the Mind"

Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada 1992
“Art helps the re-experiencing of forgotten things,” says Belgian artist Dr. Hugo, creator of “Lady Desert.” Using cinderblocks to represent in real 3-D sculpture the pixels he uses in his virtual 2-D computer work, Dr. Hugo has created a sculpture which at once refers back to classical Greek sculpture while maintaining a firm presence in the highly technological/pixilated world of the 21st century.

“Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada” becomes then an example of a modern sculpture that helps us re-experience and re-interpret a subject firmly rooted in the Western Fine Art tradition. The human figure, especially the female, is as fresh today in Dr. Hugo’s sculpture, with its computer generated beginning, as it was millennia ago in Greece.

b. December 27, 1948

Icara 1992

The Greek story of Icarus is the jumping off point for Dre Peeter’s wood sculpture “Icara,” Icarus as female. The hot and sunny environment of the American Southwest is a natural location for a sculpture that takes as its beginning the story of the headstrong youth who flew too close to the sun with wax wings, which subsequently melted, plunging him back to earth. The Greek myth fits well into the dry desert reality; the female form of “Icara,” arms/wings spread wide, eternally poised at the zenith of her flight, caught between the earth below and the desert sky above.


Chained to the Earth 1992

The only American artist represented at the museum is David Spicer, contractor and owner of a Beatty, Nevada ornamental stone company. His work can be seen around Beatty, as well as at the museum. As one would expect, Spicer’s “Chained to the Earth” is made of stone that represents, in his words, “the inseparability of man and woman, and the need for humankind to come back to earth,” (excerpted from “The Sculpture Lady,” Las Vegas New Times, May 26, 1994, pages 6-11, story by Andrew Kiraly). His monumental piece does indeed exhibit an affinity with the landscape itself, symbolizing perhaps our elemental beginnings as human beings on this earth.

Born May 12 1942 in Burcht (near Antwerp)

Tribute to Shorty Harris 1994

Among the artists that have contributed work to the museum, probably the one who felt most out of place in the desert was Belgian artist Fred Bervoets, appointed a Knight of the Order of Leopold II by the King in 1988. His “portrait” sculpture of Shorty Harris (an early miner in Death Valley and its environs) and a penguin has elicited countless questions. The miner makes sense, but why the Antarctic bird? Word has it that Bervoets wanted to include in his sculpture an indication of how “alien” he felt in the Nevada desert. The penguin was the most out of place entity the artist could think of to represent his own feelings of displacement under the Mojave sun, a self-portrait then as a penguin in the desert.

Eames Demetrios
Kymerican plaque, 2006

Rhyolite's District of Shadows

Principal of the Eames Office, filmmaker, author, design consultant, photographer, and creator of alternate realities, Eames Demetrios uses his varied talents in much the same way his iconic grandparents Charles and Ray Eames did, to communicate ideas through visual languages.

Eames Demetrios has worn a number of different hats since graduating from Harvard Film School, including multimedia work, consulting, exhibition design, and ten years as director of the Eames Office, spearheading the successful re-discovery of the Charles and Ray Eames design heritage by a new generation. He also designed the Powers of Ten Interactive CD-ROM and the Powers of Ten Exhibition a traveling, site-specific exhibition which went to 9 different museums in 3 countries.

His current large-scale project showcases yet another side of Demetrios work. Kymaerica is a multi-pronged and ongoing reinterpretation of the North American landscape and has been underway for several years. Manifestations include writings, video, performances, images, installation, limited edition prints, and more. It may be the largest installation of environmental fiction in the world.

Sofie Siegmann
Born 1964 in Munich, Germany

Sit Here!

installed and restored at Goldwell in 2007

An accomplished painter and public artist, Siegmann left Europe and moved to the Bay Area. “Growing up in Switzerland meant living in a small country. I sought adventure and moved to spacious California. The sunlight, the lightheartedness of people driving everywhere in cars, and no rain for six months straight has changed how I think and feel. I see colors and apply them onto the canvas: luminous, translucent and thick as tar." Siegmann was an artist-in-residence at the Lied Discovery Children's Museum in Las Vegas in 2000.

Charles Albert Szukalski | Dr. Hugo Heyrman | Dre Peeters | David Spicer | Fred Bervoets | Eames Demetrios
Sofie Siegmann

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