Sam Falls - University of Houston
Skip to main content

Sam Falls

(American, b. 1984)

  • Untitled (Wind Chimes), 2014

Text Transcript: Untitled (Wind Chimes)

Hello, my name is Maria Gaztambide, director and chief curator of Public Art of the University of Houston System, and I would like to draw your attention to Sam Falls’ Wind Chimes.

Falls has a background in photography, and he typically folds in photographic concepts to his sculptural work. In Wind Chimes, each time one of the sculpture’s chimes hits the clapper, a bit of color from its painted surface falls away. As in a photograph, this change acts as a marker of the exact moment when a viewer interacted with the artwork.

Falls used lighter and more subdued colors in Wind Chimes than in his other piece in the exhibition entitled Maze. The artist has mentioned that Wind Chimes’ earth tone colors help to create a relationship to the lightness of the wind, distracting from the sculpture’s material weight, while also drawing attention to its lightness of function and form.

Powder-coated aluminum, steel base, steel hardware, and marine grade rope
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich / New York
Location: College of Technology

Untitled (Wind chimes) is a larger-than-life-sized, functional wind chime. Notice the sound the colored chimes make as you gently push them toward the clapper in the center. Each time a chime hits the clapper, a bit of color on the surface falls away. This change in color acts as an index, or marker, of the exact moment that the chime made contact. In this way, the work is both ephemeral and enduring. Like photography, the work is both an object and an index of time; marked by the surface colors changing with guest interaction.

  • Untitled (Maze), 2014

Text Transcript: Untitled (Maze)

Hello, this is Maria Gaztambide, director and chief curator of Public Art of the University of Houston System, and I would like to talk to you about Sam Falls’ Maze.

Sam Falls has a background in photography, and he folds in some of the core precepts of that craft, including time, representation, and exposure, when creating his sculptures. In Maze, Falls is interested in capturing how light is both a medium and part of the composition.

As the sun shifts during the day, beams of light slowly shift the color of the surface creating a photogram – a photograph of sorts made by exposing a photosensitive surface to light without the use of a camera.

Sam Falls has stated that he wanted Maze to be inviting and interactive and to draw viewers into an experience with it. To courage moving towards the structure and through it. This aim is reflected in his choice of bright, playful colors.

Powder-coated aluminum and steel hardware
Courtesy of the artist and 303 Gallery, New York
Location: Cullen Family Plaza

Untitled (Maze) consists of brightly colored panels, some of which are coated with light and heat-sensitive paint. The artist has made precise incisions into the surface of some of the panels, which allow sunlight to project through the sculpture. Here light is both a medium and part of the composition. Over the duration of the exhibition, these beams of sunlight slowly shift the color of the surface, creating a photogram—a photograph made by exposing a photosensitive surface to light, without the use of a camera.

Share your feedback