La place des Degrés
Piotr Kowalski (1927-2004), La place des Degrés [The Degree square], stainless steel, concrete, granite, light, paint, plants, 1987-1989
Created between 1987 and 1989, La place des Degrés offers an artistic vision developed in a public space. This mineral space is made up of 3 terraces staggered over a height of 10 metres.
The progression is punctuated by monumental fragments. The emanation of two pyramids can be seen, a red border seems to guide the passer-by, a wave of granite heckles the established order. In this composition, green spaces intervene.
On the square, a prominent steel "V" darts a red band on the ground as if to direct the eyes towards Puteaux. The paving of the square, seen from a certain height, draws the portrait of the thinker Blaise Pascal.
Kowalski presented another artwork at La Défense: Escalier
Piotr Kowalski was born in 1927 in Lvov, a city in the Ukraine (then Poland). He was 18 years old when he left his country to travel in Europe and South America. During the 1950s, while an architect in New York, Kowalski carried out research that led to several projects, including a prototype electrical transformer in translucent polyester, shops and a school. In 1957, he ceased his architectural activities to take an interest in the plastic arts, using his scientific skills.
His first major exhibition took place in Bern in 1963. With materials (glass, steel, Plexiglas) but also energies (light, magnetic fields), he participates in the research of lumino-kinetic art. He died in 2004.
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