intersecting bronze cubes stacked and balanced, with a modern stone and glass building and blue sky in the background

Jedd Novatt (American, born 1958)

Chaos Xaxis, 2012

Cast bronze, 14 × 13 × 13 feet

Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art, Vermont. Gift of an anonymous donor, 2015.010. Installed with support from Ron Marks, P’14. Copyright © Jedd Novatt.

Location: Southeast lawn of the Axinn Center for Literary and Cultural Studies at Starr Library

Jedd Novatt studied literature and sculpture at Sarah Lawrence College. Subsequently he moved to New York to pursue his career as an artist, and his welded steel sculpture and bold black and white collages soon gained notice. Since 2002 he has lived and worked in Paris. He fabricates monumental sculptures in steel and bronze at foundries in Normandy, France, and Bilbao, Spain.

Like other works in Novatt’s Chaos series, Chaos Xaxis consists of loosely stacked cube-like forms. The top-heavy composition appears to teeter on the verge of collapse, seemingly defying gravity while also giving the work an implied dynamism. The mottled, uneven surface of the bronze emphasizes the materiality of the work itself.

As a set of three-dimensional frames the sculpture assumes a calligraphic quality that recalls the artist’s two-dimensional work, providing his oeuvre as a whole with great conceptual as well as formal cohesion.