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Two Circles

Micah Lexier

Bay Adelaide Centre
333 Bay St.,
Toronto, M5J 1B7


Two Circles, 2016

Watch the making of Two Circles here.

Two circles of identical size, identically positioned, occupy walls on either end of the Bay Adelaide Center East Tower lobby. One circle is solid black, the other a thin, black outline.

Viewed from afar, each circle reads as a perfect geometric shape on a smooth, white wall. As one gets closer, the work reveals itself to be far from perfect. It is an intricate, handmade ceramic tapestry rich with visual incident. The entire surface, both circle and wall, is composed of individually crafted, hand-placed ceramic sticks. Each of the 830,000 sticks has been broken in half, generating more than 1.6 million discrete elements. These breaks create a kind of line drawing that is reminiscent of heartbeats, stock market graphs and sound waves. At one point in every row this line is disrupted, creating an even more intimate level at which the viewer can engage with the work.

A circle is a timeless and enduring form. It is of the scientific world and of the spiritual world. Through the use of scale, placement and materials the universality of the circle is harnessed to create an artwork that holds a number of dichotomies in tension. It is at once simple and nuanced, monumental and intimate, visual and tactile, designed as much to be impactful from a distance as it is to be complex up close.

Two Circles combines a subtle concept with painstaking fabrication to transform time, labor and humble materials into monumental form.

This artwork was created under the City of Toronto’s Percent for Art Program.

Winner of a Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence, 2017