Andrew Topolski (1952-2008 ), Untitled, Ca. 1980s; mixed media construction, 75 x 62 x 5 1/2 inches; Gift of AXA Art Insurance Group, 2016
Andrew Topolski was a master at using diverse media to express in complex ways his root concerns for social justice, compassionate government, world peace, and the effect of nuclear development on the environment. He deconstructed related source texts and reformulated them visually with the use of mathematics, geometry and musical composition. From the text, an organizing principle might be all the vowels on the first page, and from that selection he created patterns for sound and image. His materials ranged from military hardware, photography, and a variety of paints to sand (like desert salt flats of nuclear rocket tests), and glass, as an analogy for heated sand. Red and black map colors indicated the location of detonation zones. Blue referred to the gas flame of fired missiles. The final compositions also had qualities characteristic of warhead missiles, nuclear reactors and silos, and containment domes.
Topolski’s construction was directed to the Center in his memory by AXA’s U.S. president, Christiane Fischer, who is a collector and patron of his work. The Center is the institution of record for Andrew Topolski, with significant works to represent the breadth and complexity of his career that had developed in Europe and the U.S.—AB/NW