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John Jay Park

Kreyeti-Aekyad #2 and Eaphae-Aekyad #2

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

These two abstract, welded steel sculptures are by Douglas Abdell. Abdell was born March 16, 1947 in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Brookline High School in 1965. In 1968 he studied painting and sculpture in Florence, Italy, and received a B.F.A. in sculpture from Syracuse University in 1970. That year he moved to Arkville, New York, and began to exhibit his work at Graham Gallery in New York City.

In 1973 Abdell moved to South Strafford, Vermont and created his first in the Kryad sculpture series. Abdell’s geometric sculptures, painted black, are the three-dimensional embodiment of calligraphic sketches. He has compared his work to the components of language, and his forms, as well as the titles of his sculptures, relate to this alphabetical metaphor. “The basic structure…” of the Kryad sculptures, said Abdell, “was three long thin flat forms with a flat thin form emanating vertically from that mass…The combing of disparate forms, the variance of volumetric relationships, the illusion of movement--these were my major concerns...”

In the later Aekyad series, Abdell explored a simplified reduction of horizontal, vertical and diagonal relationships. The two works were first exhibited on Park Avenue in 1979 in conjunction with Abdell’s one-man show at the Andrew Crispo Gallery. The Kreyti-Aekyad #2 was purchased by the Rosentiel Foundation, and given to the City; the Eaphae-Aekyad #2 is on long-term loan to the City. The John Jay Park Association has established a fund for maintenance of the sculpture court on the west side of the park.

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