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Is this art too wild for Pasadena?

December 26, 2008 |  9:29 am

Pasadena City Council members will have to put on their art critic's hats next month to decided whether a, well, contemporary piece of art belongs in front of the decidedly more stately civic auditorium. More from the Star-News:

Depending on whom you ask, juxtaposing edgy, contemporary art or architecture with historic buildings brings fresh life and personality -- or it thumbs the nose at classic structures that have stood the test of time.

And perhaps as early as Jan. 26, the City Council will don its collective art-critic hat and step into the middle of a spat over plans to put two funky sculptures on the historic Civic Auditorium's plaza.

The council will be asked to approve a $1.2 million public art project, in the works for more than two years, for the $145 million Pasadena Convention Center expansion opening in March.

Opinions are sharply divided over whether "Thinking Caps" by New York artist Dennis Oppenheim -- a 30-foot fedora, sun hat and baseball cap -- and a 6-foot, $500,000 kinetic sculpture described as resembling waving stalks by Berlin-based "light and sound" artist Hans Peter Kuhn, belong on the plaza fronting Green Street.

-- Shelby Grad