Carl Floyd

Carl Floyd (1936- )

Floyd studied and taught architecture before turning to sculpture and once said that Rodin and Le Corbusier were major influences in his work. A Kentucky native, he received a BFA at Kansas State University (1964) and went on to Cranbrook Academy of Art for an MFA (1967). He joined the faculty of The Cleveland Institute of Art 1971 and in 1985 became Head of the Sculpture Department. During his many years at the CIA he was known for creating user-friendly “environmental sculptures” in large outdoor, natural settings that employ forms that invite us to walk around and through them. These eco-sculptures become meditations on the fragility of nature when confronted by a mechanical culture. Machines, machine parts , and machine manipulated objects fascinated Floyd and influenced much of his work. While on the CIA faculty, he carried out many commissions for city parks in Cleveland. Over one thousand residents, including children, designed tiles for a sculpture he made for a square opposite the West Side Market. Unstable Tables, created in 1982 for the Putnam Collection employs large, rough-hewn pieces of sandstone from a local quarry – brutally torn and bruised, literally wrenched from the earth and set on grassy mounds in a wooded area of the campus. The elegance of the hand carved and polished “found” elements Floyd used reveal a characteristic underlying aesthetic sensitivity. They evoke the meditative, ceremonial power of a contemporary Stonehenge and the healing power of nature. Among other honors, in 1989, Floyd was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize.

Work in the collection:

8 Unstable Tables, 1982
Concrete and sandstone with earth mound
South Campus Greens, Carleton Road Tennis Courts, [1982.3]

The Putnam Sculpture Collection
Case Western Reserve University
11201 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7110