Laddie John Dill
Title: Sierra Lake Reflection
Medium: Cement, Tempered Glass, Minerals and Oxides. 1995
This piece is a bird’s eye view of a lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Dill sculpted — specifically, troweled — the cement so that it looks like mountains. The lake in the center is actually glass pressed onto the wet cement — convincingly capturing the glossy flatness and color of a lake when viewed from above on an overcast day.
Before this piece was acquired for the Luskin Art Collection, it was on display in a legendary artists’ hangout in Venice called Hal’s Bar and Grill. When Sierra Lake Reflection hung above the bar in Hal’s it was positioned horizontally because the ceiling was not high enough to display it vertically as the artist intended. When Hal’s closed in 2015, the Luskin Conference Center acquired the work. Fortunately, the property was still under construction at the time so it was possible to reinforce this wall to support the 600-pound weight of the piece.
Like many of his contemporaries, Dill had a preference for materials like concrete, glass, sand and metal as an alternative to traditional painting.