Vertus is a light responsive sculpture composed of nearly 200 waterjet-cut glass facets that together form the shape of an abstracted giant leaf. Each of the glass elements is laminated with prismatic film that transforms rays of light into a spectrum of brilliant color. As a responsive sculpture, Vertus is in constant flux. It illuminates differently depending on the brightness and position of the sun throughout the day. Its glass fragments are intricately configured into a curved framework of stainless-steel rods and tensile cables that float off of the wall. King used mathematics and computer modeling to recreate three-dimensional shapes and patterns found in nature. Inspired by the sculpture’s location within the School of Pharmacy, he selected the overall form of a leaf to connect to plants – the foundation for pharmaceuticals.
Ray King is a Philadelphia-based sculptor who uses glass to capture and interact with light. He is interested in the intersections between optic principles of light and mathematics. Particularly, King is fascinated by the ways in which ancient cultures used both of these resources to better understand earthly cycles and fundamental relationships in the universe. Using advanced computer technology, he harnesses different characteristics of light to create installations that appear futuristic yet are based in nature.
Vertus is located in the foyer of the main entrance to Rennebohm Hall (777 Highland Avenue).
Ray King’s webpage for Vertus
UW-Madison News, “Light-sensitive Sculpture Set for Pharmacy Building.”