Ronald Bladen
Black Lightning
1981

LOCATION

Broad Street Green

FUNDING SOURCE
Seattle Center Bond Issue 1% for Art funds; National Endowment for the Arts funds


Ronald Bladen's striking monumental sculpture Black Lightning stands in the shadow of the Space Needle, its simple z-shape outlining the iconic form of lightning. Sharp edges formed from the juncture of acute angles create alternating planes of light and shadow, animating the black steel bolt with the flicker of contrasting illumination. The sculpture is supported by two polygonal bases reminiscent, in their angular solidity, of blacksmith's anvils. Bladen described Black Lightning as "mainly a visual experience," a statement strengthened by the play of light, shadow and space that the massive sculpture evokes by means of simple shapes and basic black.