New York ramble

sponsored

Steve and I and Cate covered a lot of territory last weekend in New York. We were up and down and crosstown and back. It was fun and glorious weather and we walked and walked. Here’s a few pictures and notes about what we saw. More photos at flickr.

Public Art
Lever House

Here is Steve dressing appropriately (black) for Barbara Kruger's installation at Lever House.
Here is Steve dressing appropriately (black) for Barbara Kruger’s installation at Lever House.

Artblog buddy, blogger Hrag Vartanian had posted a picture on flickr of an installation at Lever House by Jenny Holzer. Big white words on black backgrounds splashed on walls, floors and windows. We went up there and I was thinking, hmmm, how interesting of Holzer to go back to printed words on paper/vinyl instead of those scrolling led light displays or projections. We walk into the building and Cate says This reminds me of Barbara Kruger. Indeed, it IS Barbara Kruger, looking very BK. And how fitting that it is on Madison Ave. where the artist cut her teeth in advertising. It is a very sterile, chilly installation and I could not really read the sentences but made out words here and there. The overwhelmingness of it hit you like the words on talk radio or on advertising. You tune out but it’s there in your brain. Anyway, I hadn’t put Holzer and Kruger in the same sentence before but they really do have overlapping planes of interest.

Central Park

Franz West's Public Art Fund Piece, The Ego and the Id, in Central Park
Franz West’s Public Art Fund Piece, The Ego and the Id, in Central Park

Franz West’s colorful painted aluminum loop de loops have little seats attached. I didn’t sit and didn’t see anyone sit. But with the title, “The Ego and the Id” (2008), putting yourself into the piece you’d have to decide which you were — and maybe that is too much for people. Am I an Id or an Ego–either one has some problems, no? The pieces very much recall paper chain party decorations. With their irregular puckers and squeezes, they seem like some giant kid put them together and set them down for us, her parents, to admire. The installation in Central Park (just above 59th at 5th Ave) is a Public Art Fund project that will be up through March, 2010. Later when we were in MoMA we saw several more Wests in the sculpture garden, all similar to these although much smaller in scale.

Times Square

Most of the pictures I've seen of the pedestrianification of Times Square are daytime pix but we knew to go at night when the lights wouldn't give you a sunburn but would make the space unbelievably bright.
Most of the pictures I’ve seen of the pedestrianification of Times Square are daytime pix but we knew to go at night when the lights wouldn’t give you a sunburn but would make the space unbelievably bright.

OK, so it’s not really art but the new pedestrian zones in Times Square allow people the space to sit and admire the Great White Way in all its glory.  Go at night when you get the full effect of the light and movement of the advertising signage.

Madison Square Park

Mel Kendrick, Markers, in Madison Square Park
Mel Kendrick, Markers, in Madison Square Park

Mel Kendrick’s Markers — five large black-and-white striped abstract monoliths (on view to Dec. 31) — are part of Madison Square Park‘s ongoing public art program supported by foundations, private funders and the city. A while back we saw Roxy Paine’s silver tree in this park. The Kendrick sculptures, new work made of cast and pigmented concrete, seem traditional in comparison with the Paine but people were interacting with them and …everybody love stripes so they’re friendly in spite of their massive and rather forbidding shapes.

High Line

High Line, tracks leading right through a building.
High Line, tracks leading right through a building.

Libby told you about the High Line so I won’t repeat. My favorite parts are the places where you can see how the elevated trains went straight through the buildings along the route. What came first the buildings or the elevated?  We could see it happening either way.  These plantings that go right up to that bricked up wall seem like a memorial to a past we can only imagine. It’s not meant to be sad but it seems a little melancholy.

More about Chelsea and more in another post.

Tags

barbara kruger, central park, franz west, high line, lever house, madison square park, mel kendrick, new york, public art fund, times square

sponsored
sponsored

Moving Artblog Forward - Celebrating 17 Years - Donate Today!

Artblog is passionate about art. If you are too, please help us in our Annual Appeal Campaign!

Donate Today!

Send this to a friend