The Double Cone Yellow offered here is comprised of two fiberglass nose cones acquired from an aerospace company in Santa Monica. Valentine acquired a collection of these cones and produced approximately twenty works in the series, which ranged in height, color and composition. The repeated cone was instantly recognizable as an homage to Brancusi, however the industrial material and saturated color were something completely new. With a reverence for Naum Gabo and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Valentine presented his artworks to galleries, only to be met with cynicism and rejection because plastic in art had not found acceptance. Predating the experiments and artworks in transparent plastics which fell in line with the California Light and Space movement, the works of the early 1960s telegraph a rigor and sensibility that is completely unique to Valentine’s life in Los Angeles at the time. The echoes of technological innovation in automobile and aerospace design filtered through a nearly scientific exploration of new materials and finishes produced a body of work that stands alone in the history of American art.
All the work is about the sea and the sky. I would love to have somehow a magic saw, to cut out large chunks of ocean and sky and say, “Here it is.”
De Wain Valentine