Chicken and the Egg, 1999
Painted steel, stainless steel, marble, 550 x 380 x 60 centimetres
Morton Katz's whimsical Chicken and Egg continues the artist's fascination with minimalist sculpture in suspension and also completes an interesting trio or "flock" of bird-inspired pieces in the eastern corner of the Windsor Sculpture Park. Compared with Harris' massive Tohawah and the momentarily arrested takeoff of Gladstone's geometric Morning Flight, Chicken and Egg focuses more on a child-centred perspective. This sculpture presents kids with a strange sort of feathered friend, built out of the odd but instantly recognizable medium of a gigantic bicycle chain. Katz himself collected every one of the five hundred sprocket links that make up the chain, and he lovingly welded the whole bird into shape. This exemplifies his balance between a good sense of humour and a carefully considered use of proportion and tension.
The fragile chicken is juxtaposed with the solidity of its egg, which is carved out of solid marble. The two make an interesting pair, so entirely different from each other that it is difficult to understand how they could also be so directly related to each other in a sculpture or in life. Yet we do know that they are connected somehow, these two comic partners, tied together by the weird mystery of nature and one of the oldest riddles in the book.
About Morton Katz
Morton Katz began his career as an architect and held a professorship at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture for 10 years. During that time, sculptures became a natural, creative extension of his profession. He has exhibited at major Toronto Galleries, including The John Black Aird Gallery, The Sculptor's Society of Canada Gallery, The Koffler Gallery and the Ontario Association of Architects Gallery. His work is featured in private collections across the United States and Canada and has also appeared at the Art Dialogue Gallery in Buffalo, New York, as well as the Vineland Sculpture Garden in Vineland, Ontario. Katz continues to work in the field of architecture while also maintaining lecturing positions at the Avenue Road Art School, and the Art Centre, Central Technical School. Morton Katz is the past president of the Sculptor's Society Canada and the director of the Canadian Sculpture Centre.