De Wain Valentine’s simply titled “Gray Column” is on public display for the first time at the Getty for "Pacific Standard Time." It’s a giant wall of darkness that gets lighter toward the very top. Modern, ultra-shiny and huge, the piece is 12 feet high, 8 feet wide and 3500 pounds of hardened polyester resin.
"If I could cut out a piece of the ocean, a piece of the sky and objectify it, that was what I was able to do with the polyester," says Valentine about his work during that period. "The color changed from darker to lighter as it got to the sky, they were made thinner at the tops, so that they would kind of disappear into the sky."
In the 1960s and 1970s Valentine and his contemporaries were experimenting with the same materials as Southern California’s aerospace and auto industries. Their work was sleek and colorful, and utilized natural light to enhance the viewer's experience. The Getty Conservation Institute presents "From Start To Finish: De Wain Valentine's Gray Column" as a part of "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980."