Black Stacks Helium Sculpture

Black Stacks Helium Sculpture

Otto Piene
1976
Sculpture - Helium and fabric
Walker Art Center

German-born artist Otto Piene coined the term "Sky Art," in 1969 to describe his creative approach of using landscape and cities as focal ponts. Among his "Sky Art" projects was a work created for the closing of the 1972 Summer Olympics. The Black Stacks Helium Sculpture was commissioned by the Walker Art Center and installed on October 30, 1976, at the Northern States Power (NSP) South East Steam Plant (located at Main Street SE and 6th Avenue SE). It was comprised of four 300-foot red helium-filled balloons, three feet in diameter, streamers that were to be pumped up every two days for as long as they would last, an expected two weeks. Unfortunately, vandals shot through three of the four streamers within the first days of the installation and the piece was not re-installed.

Permissions were arranged with artists or organizations expressly for this collection and may not be used without their additional consent.​