Galleries of Contemporary Art
Starr Kempf: Space Needle

Starr Kempf, Space Needle, steel, oil paint, 1978. Image credit: Tom Kimmell

Starr Kempf: Space Needle

On View: January 1–1, 2020


Starr Kempf created his elaborate steel wind sculptures starting in the late 1970s, each of which took him up to three years to construct. His world-renowned kinetic wind sculptures were designed to exhibit graceful movement and interaction with the wind and landscape. His work is typically in the form of birds or weather vanes, and stand thirty to fifty feet in height. Kempf attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and after graduating served in the United States Air Force during World War II. In 1948, they purchased the property of their future home in Cheyenne Canyon, where Starr designed and built a house and art studio. The monumental kinetic sculptures filled the yard of the property, beloved by and bedeviling the quiet surrounding neighborhood with regional, national, and international attention and visitors.