Santiago Calatrava, Wave, 2002

Meadows Museum facade with aqua green wave shaped sculpture out front

Santiago Calatrava

(1951– )



Steel, bronze, nylon, and granite reflecting pool

79 1/4 x 816 x 312 in. (201 x 2073 x 792 cm)

Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Gift of the Rosine Foundation Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas through the generous vision of Mary Anne and Richard Cree, MM.02.01

Listen to Meadows Museum Docent Betsy Morton discuss this work (1:31 minutes)

Audio Transcript

Santiago Calatrava (1951– )

Wave, 2002

by Besty Morton, Meadows Museum docent

As you can see, this is a large sculpture made up of two key elements.

In total it is 40 feet wide and 90 feet long. One part is an illuminated, black granite rectangular pool of slow-moving water.

The second part is 26 feet wide and 68 feet long. This primary part is made up of 129 equally sized, bronze-coated steel bars. Each bar weighs 440 lbs. These bars are collectively powered by one motor. They are mounted above the water on individual pins along a triangular base that acts as a pivot for the motion. The bars move sequentially, rising and descending about six feet, which helps simulate energy passing through water as waves.

Over time, the bronze bars have acquired a beautiful bluish-green patina, which reminds us of water.

The artist commented on The Wave, saying that, “the solidity of the bronze bars seems to dissolve into something fluid. Rigid, straight elements take on the appearance of a curve. And the heavy material becomes weightless as it is reflected in the water.” He also described the sound the sculpture makes as “poetry of movement.”