Gail Simpson & Aristotle Georgiades – Under the Surface

Gail Simpson & Aristotle Georgiades

Under the Surface

Acrylic and LED lighting
12’ x 12’ x 18”
Commission, University Housing, UW-Madison

Under the Surface sources inspiration from the landscape that surrounds and directly shapes the Madison region. Based on an 1897 University of Wisconsin hydrographic map of Lake Mendota, this sculpture emphasizes the lake’s expanse and depth. The contours of the lake bottom topography are represented by stepped layers of acrylic ledges – set aglow by LED backlighting. Although Lake Mendota is widely known to Madisonians, it is not instantly recognizable in Under the Surface. Without accompanying text or graphics, the recessed form on the wall abstracts the lake and in doing so connects it with the broader natural world. Under the Surface was made with assistance of Arnie Martin (UW-Madison MFA 2011) and American Acrylics of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

While Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades work individually, together they form a collaborative team called Actual Size Artworks that specializes in site-specific sculpture. Working in tandem, they create both temporary and permanent installations in public places across the country. Both sculptors are also professors in  UW-Madison’s Department of Art, and are active in the local arts community.


Under the Surface is located in the Mendota Room, Dejope Residence Hall (640 Elm Drive), adjacent to the main dining area on the 1st floor.


Gail Simpson & Aristotle Georgiades - Under the Surface