Installed at the Vancouver International Airport from 1969 to 1993, this dynamic sculpture was one of the first public artworks in Vancouver. Larger than any sculpture Murray had previously constructed, Cumbria, 1966–67, was made possible by the new partnership he established in 1966 with Lippincott, Inc., the industrial fabrication plant in North Haven, Connecticut, focused on working with artists to produce large-scale metal sculptures. This bright yellow piece is composed of two parallel plates of metal that rise from the ground at a steep angle, evoking the trajectory of airplanes lifting off the runway. According to Murray, Cumbria “can be understood as a long narrow line one moment and a hanging heavy slab or a weightless spread of colour the next.”
Mastery in Metal
Robert Murray, Cumbria, 1966–67
Painted Cor-Ten steel, 437 x 968 x 571 cm, Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, gift of Transport Canada, 1995. Installation view of Cumbria in Battery Park, New York, 1968, photograph by Robert Murray.