Three-Way Piece: Points, 1964-65
The surface of Three-Way Piece: Points gives the overall impression of being smooth. Upon closer inspection, however, the viewer will notice small gash marks and cross-hatched scratches located only on the sculpture's concave curves. The convex curves, which constitute more of the sculpture's surface area, and which are more immediately noticeable as they reach towards the viewer, are the areas that remain smooth. The surface is dark in color, and just slightly reflective.
The sculpture sits on top of a cylindrical pedestal, about equal in width to the sculpture itself. The roundness of the sculpture and pedestal stand in contrast to the straight edges of some of the buildings nearby, however they also bring out the curves of a round-walled chapel located on Columbia's campus just north-west of Three-Way Piece: Points.
Because the sculpture is placed at the north end of a bridge that stretches over Amsterdam Avenue, looking at the sculpture from different vantage points provides very different backdrops. When looking north, for example, Amsterdam Avenue extends into the distance, and the viewer's position, elevated on an overpass, is clearly evident. Looking towards the west, in contrast, the viewer sees the sculpture with a tall building behind it, providing a background that does not have variation of depth.
In placing the sculpture on the Amsterdam Avenue overpass, Columbia University has had to contend with various issues. An early concern was whether the structure of the overpass was strong enough to safely support the sculpture and its pedestal . This having been positively resolved, the sculpture was installed in 1967.
Another issue has been the weathering of the bronze. Weathering of outdoor sculpture is unavoidable. Henry Moore, in a letter to a Columbia University official, described the original surface patina of the sculpture in comparison to another piece that he had made: "...It is richer and darker, and eventually by being out of doors, it may go darker still. It is not possible to control entirely the patina of an outdoor sculpture, as the atmosphere may change it..." . Extensive weathering can, however, be damaging to a sculpture's surface, and the placement of Three-Way Piece: Points leaves it exposed to pollution and dirt particles from the road below , requiring Columbia to take protective measures to conserve the work.
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