One of the great things about public art is how the viewer can have such a wholly unique experience of the piece depending on the time of day it is viewed. In the case of Day’s End, the new, permanent sculpture by David Hammons (b. 1943), I saw it up-close for the first time at, well, day’s end. Watching the sun set through the sculpture and dip behind the New Jersey skyline was a beautiful thing to behold, especially as many of us are only just now able to walk outside free of masks for the first time in over a year.
Day’s End, which was a work-in-progress on from 2014–21, is a collaboration between The Whitney Museum and Hudson River Park. Located in the Hudson River at Pier 52, along the southern edge of Gansevoort Peninsula, Day’s End sits directly across the Westside Highway from the museum, from whose westward-facing lobby the monumental installation is clearly visible.
Proposed to the Whitney by Hammons, Day’s End takes inspiration from an artwork of the same name by Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–78). In 1975, Matta-Clark cut five openings into the Pier 52 shed that formerly occupied the site. Day’s End’s open structure precisely follows the outlines, dimensions, and location of the original shed — and, like Matta-Clark’s intervention, it offers an extraordinary place to experience the waterfront.
Read more about the history of Day’s End at This Link.