Picture time with Chaos I

37 – Chaos I

Chaos I is a seven-ton, kinetic sculpture by Swiss artist Jean Tinguely. The piece is the largest work by Tinguely in the United States. The archivist at the Museum Tinguely in Basil, Switzerland said, “The artist’s philosophy was that everything has to be in motion, like life; if not, it’s not ‘real.’”

It seems fitting that the centerpiece of Columbus, Indiana, a city known for both its great architectural designs and its world-class manufacturing operations, would be a sculpture that successfully marries art and engineering. Tinguely, a colorful character sporting a bushy moustache, took up residence in Columbus’s former city powerhouse — now Columbus Pump House restaurant — for nearly two years. Tinguely became a regular at the local “watering holes” during that time. He was said to have been delighted by the quality of the scrap he found in local junkyards about town because they provided the raw material for his work.

So special is Chaos to the community, for the three years that the new Commons was being constructed, it was safely protected in a climate-controlled box while The Commons was razed and rebuilt all around it.

The architect of the original Commons, Cesar Pelli, first suggested that a sculpture by Tinguely would be the perfect centerpiece to this downtown facility. Pelli said, “We would like a great magnet, a focal point such as the old town clock…a place for people to meet and greet one another.”

The work was commissioned by J. Irwin and Xenia Irwin Miller and Mrs. Robert Tangeman in late 1971.

Take me to Chaos I.

Two Arcs from north

38 – Two Arcs de 212.5

Bernar Venet is a a French conceptual artist. His 2 Arcs de 212.5° — also known as the “Red C” — is typical of Venet’s minimalist work in steel. Seemingly precariously balanced, this work, like his others, reflects the artist’s love of mathematics and his style of adapting material, form, balance, and spatial perception.

Venet has work exhibited around the world. Recently, he has had exhibits in New York, Paris, Dubai, Luxembourg, Berlin, and Turin, Italy.

Take me to Two Arcs.


39 – 301 Washington

This building first served as a dry goods store owned by Joseph Ireland Irwin in 1850.

Remodeled around 1871, it became Irwin’s bank, and later became the private office of former Cummins chairperson, J. Irwin Miller.

Miller’s office was designed by legendary architect and interior designer Alexander Girard. Tours of the office are available on the Downtown Walking Tour.

Courthouse, from northeast

40 – Courthouse

Isaac Hodgson designed the Bartholomew County Courthouse, which was completed in 1874.

The Second Empire style building stands much the same as it did at its completion and continues to serve the community well.

Landscape Designer Michael Van Valkenburgh developed a master plan for landscape plantings for the Court House Square in 1997 and The Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans, which is located directly south of the courthouse.

The community was proud to see it featured on the cover of the book The Magnificent 92 Indiana Courthouses.

Take me to the Courthouse.

Cummins Commons office building

41 – Cummins Commons Building

Designed by Koetter Kim & Associates, this 100,000 square foot four-story building serves as general office space for Cummins.

The building is energy efficient and sustainable, an received an LEED Silver rating.

Ancestral Way, Bob Pulley

42 – Ancestral Way

Robert Pulley’s eleven organic forms appear to march in procession along the hillside as visitors exit the city. The hand-built ceramic sculptures combine references to the human figure with organic and geologic forms

Bob Pulley says on his website, “I grew up in the American Midwest where frequent solitary walks in the woods and along the creeks and rivers of rural Indiana etched strong impressions into my memory of the varied forms, colors and textures around me. Evidence of the effects of time were everywhere in the rock strata, glacial till, and aboriginal artifacts. I found a sense of wonder that embraced mysteries of nature, of change, and of chance. My work flows from my life as a result of perception and feeling. The sculptures reflect qualities that I recognize in nature and that strike a chord within me; burgeoning energy, tactile and visual richness of surface and form as well as evidence of inevitable loss and change. The references to growth and decay, plant and animal, biological and inorganic, embed the human figure within the teeming forces of nature.”

Return to the mobile map directory.