Friday, June 14, 2013

RIP Lee


One of our local artists, Lee Littlefield, died of lymphoma in his home last Sunday.

I first became aware of Lee's work when three school bus yellow sculptures appeared overnight in a small triangular esplanade along one of my main travel arteries many many years ago. They were about 5' tall and constructed from what looked like sections of telephone poles with long wiggly sticks coming out of the top portions and painted bright yellow. They looked like upright porcupines, at least that's how my brain made sense of them.

Later, I started seeing similar sculptures springing up along the freeways in the city. They would stay for some months and then be gone to pop up elsewhere or new ones would take their places. These were tall, more slender, using trees and branches instead of telephone poles. It was several years before I learned the name of the artist and that he called these Pop Up sculptures. Sometimes he would have permission from the authorities and perhaps, sometimes not.

I began to look for them because they were always a delight. Eventually, we purchased one of Lee's outdoor pieces being exhibited at a local gallery. He had some wonderfull indoor wall pieces which I would have liked but our house was small and we had no wall space for such. Plus, it was his outdoor work that first grabbed my attention.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of our sculpture because I can't find the old ones I took on any of the devices here and I can't take a new one because it is in Lee's studio. It suffered some damage and was in for repairs. Unfortunately, he died before he could install it for us out here. It's ready and we will make arrangements to get it. I'll post pictures then.

I'm not going to go into Lee's resume and biography. If you want to know all that you can read about him here.  Instead, here is a small gallery of some of his work.

 http://www.chron.com/life/gallery/The-work-of-Lee-Littlefield-64237.php

 museumpublicity.com

 www.poissantgallery.com

 http://www.chron.com/life/gallery/The-work-of-Lee-Littlefield-64237.php

 http://www.chron.com/life/gallery/The-work-of-Lee-Littlefield-64237.php

 http://www.chron.com/life/gallery/The-work-of-Lee-Littlefield-64237.php

 http://www.chron.com/life/gallery/The-work-of-Lee-Littlefield-64237.php

 http://www.chron.com/life/gallery/The-work-of-Lee-Littlefield-64237.php

http://www.chron.com/life/gallery/The-work-of-Lee-Littlefield-64237.php


I'm going to miss seeing Lee's sculptures pop up along the Houston roadways.



13 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

what unique works. i hope they live on for years to come.

The Bug said...

I love those! Looks like he's leaving behind a fabulous legacy...

John Kurman said...

Great stuff. I would never have dared to try that with color. Well, yeah, dared, but failed miserably. Sorry to hear about his passing.

Hilary said...

He did some beautiful, colourful work. I can see why you'd be happy to own one of his pieces. I'm looking forward to seeing it. May he rest in peace.

Joanne Noragon said...

How many smiles he added to the world.

Tabor said...

These remind me of crinoids or some other type of underwater creature. Such whimsy he shared.

Kerry said...

These are wonderful. I had never heard of him before this, but what a loss for the Houston area. I look forward to seeing your pics of his piece in your yard.

Out on the prairie said...

Sea creatures along the roadway, what a marvelous artist to lose.

Steve Reed said...

Interesting! I love his renegade spirit, erecting works without permission. They do look like bizarre Martian plants, or maybe neurons. I'm glad you have one of his pieces to remember him by.

little hat said...

Delightful, whimsical. I love artists who just track their own path. Its magical.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I hope his soul is enjoy a forest as bright as the one that came out of his mind.

Reya Mellicker said...

His work is fabulous, very light. May his spirit fly as high as his beautiful work!

SkippyMom said...

What a passion to have. I see it in you, as you see it in him. What beautiful work. I can imagine the smiles it invoked, as I smiled looking at all of his work.

I am sorry for your loss. Take care my friend. Miss you.