Folded Circle Two Rings

Anyone who regularly drives north on I-680 has probably thought about that huge metal sculpture that sits atop the sign for Bishop Ranch.

The sculpture, Folded Circle Two Rings, was done by San Francisco artist Fletcher Benton.

That massive steel construction has been there for almost 30 years and is part of his folded circle ring series.

Benton has worked primarily in large metal sculptures. He has been described by critic Carter Ratcliff as "an artist who reconciles apparent opposites."

The artist remembered the Bishop Ranch piece in particular because it was one of his first commissioned works.

The idea was to create a monument along I-680 and Benton was chosen specifically because he was based in the Bay Area. Benton was given free rein to do what he liked, and there's no real association between the piece and the business park.

In a 1989 interview with art historian Paul Karlstrom, Benton said, "The Folded Square and Folded Circle works were my first steps outside of the kinetic world." He set himself a problem: to begin with a two-dimensional "given," a flat slab of steel, and to find his way into "the three-dimensional world." The rules were strict. There was to be no "adding to or subtracting from. . . . All I could do was cut, fold out, and redesignate the parts."

Benton, who graduated in with a master of fine arts from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1956, has been based in the Bay Area since 1959 and taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and San Jose State. He's been the recipient of numerous awards. In 1993, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Ohio, and a Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award f

Read this story in Views magazine, available for free June 27.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathy
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2011 at 9:09 am

I especially enjoy this sculpture at Christmas time, its beautiful and really stands out!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Public Ivy Schools for 2015--Going By the ‘Virginia Rule’
By Elizabeth LaScala | 7 comments | 1,381 views

Me and Ashley, sittin’ in a tweet …
By Tom Cushing | 6 comments | 1,284 views

Exchange Club Meeting on First Amendment
By Roz Rogoff | 0 comments | 511 views

A step forward but many hurdles remain for Oakland sports facilities
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 364 views