Brooklyn Bridge Park is fun place to hang out on a sunny weekend day. Into early September, there’s another reason to make a destination of this small oasis that rests in the shadow on one of the city’s major landmarks: that being Anish Kapoor’s Descension whirlpool installation!
For more than 35 years, Anish Kapoor — an Indian artist who now lives in London — has been among the most creative artists of his generation. He has created compelling and poetic bodies of work using a range of materials that include raw pigment, stone, stainless steel, synthetic polymer, resin, and wax. He also has a longstanding interest in the sculptural potential of water.
Decension, presented for the first time in the United States, represents a breakthrough with this inherently challenging, slippery substance. I visited the site on the (unfortunately overcast) Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, where I took a short video as I became hypnotized by the deep whooshing sound of the endless swirling water. Enjoy!
Like all of Kapoor’s works, Decension is the result of intensive research into material and process, exploring the potential of water to behave in surprising ways. The continuous swirling motion of this 26-foot-diameter liquid mass converges in a central vortex, as if rushing water is being sucked into the earth’s depths. We thus experience Kapoor’s abstract form on multiple levels. Its powerful physicality has a visceral and mesmerizing impact. Yet Descension also stimulates the imagination and suggests a social, cultural and even mythic dimension.
Descension is on view at Pier 1’s Bridge View Lawn until September 10th, 2017. Viewing times are 9:00 am-9:00 pm daily except during inclement weather.
Hundreds of books about Art are published every year and it’s challenging for even hardcore Art enthusiasts like me to keep track of the best ones. But I don’t think I’ve yet come across a coffee table-sized Art book that I wanted to peruse cover-to-cover for hours in the way I do Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of The Americas — a comprehensive collection of public art, due out from Phaidon Press in November, 2013.
It’s unfortunate that, due to the (understandable) copyright restrictions on the hundreds of gorgeous photographs contained in the pages of Art & Place, the publishers would only allow me to post three images from the book, because the photographs collected for this impressive publication are simply breathtaking and make Art & Place a must-own for collectors and fans alike. Whenever I travel, one of my favorite things to do is photo-documen public art; whether that be sculptures, installations, random street art or works created from and within nature. Art transforms the perception of reality in a way mere words cannot, and this book does an amazing job of both visually demonstrating and verbally relating the ways in which art elevates life. If you also enjoy photographing site-specific works of art when you visit a new city, this book is an indispensable guide to making the most of your travel experiences across the United States.
Chupinas Mesa, Charles Ross, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Anton Chico, NM, USA Star Axis, 1976–, carved rock and masonry, H: 15.85 m / 52 ft 4 Star Tunnel Aperture
Organized geographically, Art & Place is an unprecedented overview of site-specific art across North, Central and South America from 10,000 BC to the present day. This one-of-a-kind book offers an in-depth and extensive look at major works from all periods that are inextricably linked with their site. From Isamu Noguchi at Storm King Art Center, Anish Kapoor’sCloud Gate in Chicago, and Donald Judd in Marfa, to the Toltec Warriors at Tula and the Moai Statues on Easter Island, all the featured works are specifically made for, or installed in, a particular place – whether that be a landscape, an interior or an urban environment.
Pacific View Mall, Dennis Oppenheim, Ventura, CA, USA Bus Home, 2002, painted steel, acrylic, 10.9 × 15.2 × 30.5 m / 36 × 50 × 100 ft
“Art made for a specific place can be the most spectacular, uplifting and exciting art you can ever experience, and artists of the Americas have provided us with some of the most outstanding examples,” says Amanda Renshaw, editor of the book. “I’ve had the chance to visit many sites, but quickly realized that it is, unfortunately, impossible to visit them all in a single lifetime. Art sites have become increasingly popular destinations. The format of Art & Place aims to bring some of the most extraordinary examples to life and enable most of us to visit these amazing places from home.”
Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, Alfredo Jaar, Santiago, Chile Geometry of Conscience, Plaza de la Memoria, 2010, light installation, duration: 3 mins
Works in over 60 cities – from Albuquerque to Washington, DC, and from Baja to Rio de Janeiro
170 powerful and spectacular art works from North, Central, and South America
800 large-format color images depicting the artwork in its surroundings along with a descriptive text written by a specialist
All forms of art including carving and painting, murals and frescos, mosaics, altarpieces, tapestries, integral sculpture, stained glass, earthworks, land art and more
Renowned artists such as Richard Serra and John Sargent, Donald Judd and Henry Moore, alongside art created by ancient civilizations, Colonial settlers and 19th Century muralists
Maps pinpointing the location of sites and specially commissioned plans show the layout of complex sites
With the holidays coming up, I can’t think of a more appropriate gift for the Art lover in your life than Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of The Americas (Approx. 368 Pages; Approx. 800 Color Illustrations), available as a Hard Cover collectible for just $79.95. Phaidon books are available at all major bookstores and retailers worldwide, as well as online at This Link!
It really is true that I missed the best New York City weather so far this year during the week I spent vacationing in Chicago. It also seems to be the case that I brought Chicago’s dreary, damp and cold weather back with me (you’re welcome), as yesterday was one of those Saturdays where you can’t help but ask, “How can I manage to leave my house but still spend all day indoors avoiding this crap weather?” You know what I’m talking about. On such a day, Geoffrey and I found ourselves at the marvelous Guggenheim Museum, where there was much arty fabulousness to enjoy for free (thank you, Corporate Membership)!
Submission From Saunders Architecture
As of today you have ten more days to experience Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum, a collective experience were hundreds of artists and architects were invited to re-imagine the central void of the rotunda space within the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building. What that means basically is a bunch artistically inclined creative thinkers submitted proposals for installations or redesigns to fill the big empty space in the middle of this spiral-shaped building’s interior. For this challenge, you cannot even imagine the fantastic things that some people conjured up in their brains. Honestly, this was the most fun exhibit I’ve seen at the Guggy in the past five years, including Cai Guo-Qiang’s reinacted car bomb explosion from last year. You can see thumbnails of all the proposals at This Link, but if you can make it uptown to Fifth Avenue and 89th Street, you really have to see this exhibit in person. You have until April 28, 2010.
Submission From Ball Nogues Studio
Also on current display at the Guggenheim New York is a wonderful “out of the box thinking” photography/video/performance exhibit called Haunted, which just happens to be the title of my favorite novel by Chuck Palahniuk! The Haunted exhibit was also a lot of fun and very thought provoking. Art! Do pay a visit to the Guggenheim as soon as you can and if it’s a nice day out remember that Central Park is just across the street!