Sports Structures, Sculpture, Bankboards, Calder, Picasso, Stella

The exuberant sense of play, merging the obvious aspects of art understood as form and function - itself a heady mixture - suggests to a visitor that the Bankshot Playcourt  is something of the legendary  logic of Abstract Impressionism’s emersion into the world of sports.

Just imagine painters Paul Klee, Jean Miro and Wassily Kandinsky at a Bankshot Playcourt, with a basketball in their hands and seeing for the first time these striking geometries in bold inviting display. Also imagine famous sculptors Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp being asked to shoot a ball at these structures, which they inspired with whim and fancy. They witness for themselves the transformation of art into the playful world of sports.

It would be what Frank Stella, an abstractionist artist, called "form transforming into an inclusionary affordance called function."  The functionality these sport structures present to children and adults, who have never heard of this art form, will only view it as a sport’s challenge.  Children of all ages, sizes, shapes and diversity, including physically and cognitively challenged, and wheelchair users, participate together achieving real socialization and integration of the community within the world of art and play.

Bankshot's appearance is a range of impetuously colored configurations, alternating with glowing abstract shapes and excursions relative to Picasso (when he was in his Cubist stage), Frank Stella's humongous-gigantic abstractionist structures (at the new Whitney Museum of American Art) and Alexander Calder’s stabiles sculptures.  All the while participants are immersed in what Sports Illustrated, in an article entitled the "Rabbi of Roundball", referred to as a surrealistic landscape.

Although, for the most part, created at the Wingate Sports Institute outside of Netanya, the Israel National Museum in Jerusalem was the first international art museum, foreshadowing several others, to exhibit Bankshot as sports structures with participation. Available in the courtyard is a bin of basketballs in various sizes for visitors to choose from. Indoor, wall-hangings display Bankshot Bankboards merging art and play. Since then, the design department of The Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Boston children’s Museum and the Bridgeport Connecticut Science Museum have placed Bankshot on permanent display indoors in space for that purpose.  Bankshot as art and play constitutes a kind of spiritual union formed within the surrounding post-modern space conceived as universal design and set aside for the socialization and the integration of a community.


National Association for Recreational Equality


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