Courtesy: Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Collection

Body of Knowledge

Lakewood, California

Tom Van Sant (

Angelo M. Iacoboni Library, 4990 Clark Avenue, Lakewood, California, 90712
Date:  1972
Placement:  libraries (buildings)
Artwork Type:  bas-reliefs (sculpture)
Material:  brick
Description:  Body of Knowledge, which measures 14’ w x 10’ h, is composed of a large undulating curvilinear shape surrounded by a pattern of intermittent bricks that jut out of the wall. The adjacent bricks form a pattern that seems both random and at the same time reminiscent of Braille writing or the symbols from a computer data print-out. Before installing this brick bas-relief sculpture over theelo M. Iacoboni Library’s main entrance, Tom Van Sant sculpted each brick according to his master diagram and then supervised the firing at the kiln site. The artwork was then set into the wall by brick masons under Van Sant’s direction.

See Tom Van Sant, Bell Libraryand Tom Van Sant, Huntington Park Library

About the Artist: Tom Van Sant has created over sixty public murals and sculptures. His artwork can be found throughout southern California as well as internationally, including in the Honolulu, Taipei and Los Angeles airports. Van Sant was born in Los Angeles in 1931. He received a BA from Stanford University, a MFA from Otis Art Institute, and a MA in Environmental Arts and Sciences from Goddard College. Two other Van Sant artworks are held in Los Angeles County’s Collection, Inventive Progress of Man at the Bell Library, and Flight at the Huntington Park Library.

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