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Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA) presents the Parabolic Monolith Iridium, a public sculpture by light and space artist Gisela Colón. The sculpture is located near the top of James Monroe Park in Washington, DC, steps away from the National Mall, the White House, and the Renwick Gallery. This is the first public sculpture by the artist in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. 

This project is generously sponsored by Leidos and CPJ Associates and is presented in partnership with the Golden Triangle BID.

Parabolic Monolith Iridium, 2019

Parabolic Monolith Iridium, 2019

“My Monoliths are physical manifestations of vital energy sourced from the Earth and the Cosmos, purposefully channeled into sleek objects that become conduits of transmutation and transformation, emanating radiant energy. While their outward appearance is high-tech, space-age, and futuristic, they are also visceral, primitive, and reminiscent of ancient cultural artifacts. I seek to address phenomenology and the universal concern of human relationships to the Earth.” - Gisela Colón

Gisela Colón (b. 1966) is known for her light-activated sculptures that feature little to no edges, lines, or place for the viewer to rest their eye, nodding towards an energy of constant fluctuation and growth. Made from carbon fiber material using advanced aerospace technology, the “Monolith” is a light-weight yet durable object, both from this earth and not of this earth, birthed from a symbiosis of high art and physical science.

As a contemporary Latinx artist, working through her innovative practice of Organic Minimalism, Colón has deconstructed and expanded upon the historically male-dominated canon of minimalism; in result, carving out new space for broader identities in the field. In contrast to traditional, hard-edged, geometrical minimalist works, Colón breaks barriers by creating objects that breath organic life-like qualities into fluid reductive forms.

Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Gisela Colón currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

This project is paired with Colón’s solo exhibition, Quantum Shift, at Tephra ICA’s gallery in Reston, VA and is representative of this moment in time when there is a shift in human awareness, marking a new era of discovery. 

View Quantum Shift Here

Directions to James Monroe Park


This project is generously sponsored by Leidos and CPJ Associates and is presented in partnership with the Golden Triangle BID.


Gisela Colón: The Future is Now, 2020

Gisela Colón: The Future is Now, 2020
Land Art Biennial, Desert X AlUla, Saudi Arabia

video screen shot

Insights: Fanna Gebreyesus

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