The subject of water came to me more or less as a "found object." In the way primary structures informed Minimalism, I wanted to reintroduce image and representation into my art. I sought to capture the essence and the existence of water in nature, as if extracting autonomous shapes from the landscape. Water would function as a solid and become a form. The extracted shapes could be passive and reclining (like a lake), or wandering and serpentine (like a river), or standing in a state of suspension (like a waterfall). Interpreting the surface of these water forms allowed me a freedom to follow the course of gravity from liquid to solid.
When I first came to New York in 1972, one of the most powerful and transformative sculptures I encountered was Rodin's Balzac. As you walk around the piece, it becomes many things. It is an expressionistic portrait of a literary giant with the posture and pose of monumentality, but it also becomes a cliff, a megalith, a torqued tree trunk, and a waterfall — all seeming to be a container of life. Even the tool markings and the artist's hand looked fresh.
I am still attracted to water as a motif, but in different ways. There is more diversity in the references and meaning. It can carve, pour, erode, drip, float, divide, flow, shape, and go to unexpected places.
Bryan Hunt, excerpt from artist statement for Water, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 2007.