Tag Archive | Installation

Anish Kapoor’s Decension in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Whirlpool Detail
All Photos By Gail

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!

Decension Signage and Entrance

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.

Descension From a Distance

Descension Approach

Descension

Descension With Bridge

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.

Decension

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.

Descension Close Up

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Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Water) at the Brooklyn Museum

Water
All Photos By Gail

Felix Gonzales-Torres (1957 – 1996) ever-generous artworks invite viewers to participate in them — by eating candy from a gleaming pile of sweets making up one of his works, for example, or removing a poster from an endlessly replaceable stack of paper. Yet despite their decisive ephemerality, these works are imbued with both personal and political undertones. While invoking the allegedly content-free vocabulary of minimalism, Gonzalez-Torres nonetheless subtly hints at possible meanings through parenthetical subtitles he assigned to each untitled work.

Water

The luminous, blue-beaded curtain Untitled (Water) evokes images of an aquatic landscape but also dreams of travel and escape. The strings of faceted, blue plastic beads have as their source the humble curtains often found in bodegas, but when stretched across the expanse of the entranceway, the shimmering strands resemble a waterfall. Installed in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum, Untitled (Water), 1995, serves as a threshold, a place of passage, marking off the activity of the street from the theater of the exhibition.

Water Detail
Water, Detail

Water

Beauties Sculpture Installation By John Monti in The Grace Building Lobby

Sculptures By John Monti
All Photos By Gail

I love a happy accident, which is what I have to call my discovery of this fun new exhibit by artist John Monti, which I spotted in the 42nd Street Lobby of The Grace Building as I walked past on the way to the F Train.

Sculptures By John Monti

Sculptures By John Monti Signage

The installation, which is made up of seven amorphous-shaped bright Red and Lime Green sculptures,  is called Beauties and it actually opens with a reception on Thursday, September 15th from 6 – 8 PM, which means there will probably be free wine!

Sculptures By John Monti

Sculptures By John Monti

Red Surface

Up close, you can see that the sculptures’ surfaces are covered with fine, sparkly glitter!

Green Surface

Sculptures By John Monti

I enjoyed looking at them.

Sculptures By John Monti

I know that if Geoffrey sees this photo he will say that they look like Sex Toys. Because they do.

Beauties will be on Exhibit through November 11th, 2016, at The Grace Building Lobby, Located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas (AKA Sixth Avenue), But the Main Entrance is on 42nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, just across the street from Bryant Park and New York Public Library. This exhibit is sponsored by Arts Brookfield.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Isamu Noguchi’s Red Cube Sculpture

Red Cube
All Photos By Gail

The Financial District in Lower Manhattan is a playground for monumental public art installations, including Isamu Noguchi’s Red Cube, which was installed on the plaza at 140 Broadway Between Cedar and Liberty Streets in 1968.

Red Cube 2

The diagonal lines of red painted steel stand in contrast to the stark horizontal and vertical lines of the adjacent front of the HSBC Building (formerly the Marine Midland Bank) by architect Gordon Bunshaft. Despite its title, the sculpture is not actually a cube, but instead seems as though it has been stretched along its vertical axis.

Red Cube 3

Aside from it’s striking color, Red Cube also stands out from the surrounding architecture in that all of its lines are diagonals, whereas the buildings are made up of horizontal and vertical lines. Additionally, the sculpture is balanced somewhat precariously on one corner, while the buildings, by contrast, and solidly placed.
Red Cube 4

Through the center of the cube there is a cylindrical hole, revealing an inner surface of gray with evenly-spaced lines moving from one opening of the hole to the other. Looking through this hole, the viewer’s gaze is directed skyward, towards the building behind, tying the sculpture and the architecture together.

Red Cube Hole

Red Cube is Located at 140 Broadway (at Liberty Street) New York, N.Y.10005. By Subway, Take the 4 or 5  to Wall Street Station.

Tanglewood By Shayne Dark at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Tanglewood Distance
All Photos By Gail

If you haven’t been to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden yet this summer, you really must go while the Lily Pool Terrace is still in bloom, which is through September. Also new to the Garden (since July) are three large-scale installations by Canadian artist Shayne Dark, who brings his work to Brooklyn Botanic as part of a yearlong sculpture exhibit.  The first one you’ll see, when you enter at 150 Eastern Parkway, is a group of bright blue-painted poles, which is called Tanglewood. The sculpture sits in the center of the Osborne Garden lawn, which allows viewers to approach it from a distance.

Tanglewood 1

In the excerpt below, from a conversation with Dark, the artist talks to Garden staff about the inspiration behind this work, how he chose his materials, and how he goes about installing such large, complex pieces in a public space.

Tanglewood (2014)

This work was inspired by Dark’s childhood growing up along the Ottawa River, in Ontario. “In the spring, logs coming down the river would get tangled up in the bend, and the men would come running out to break up these log jams. As a child, I was fascinated by this.”

The sculpture is constructed of cedar poles normally used as fence posts, painted a vivid blue. “For me, color is one of the easiest things to respond to and enjoy.” Dark used a matte theater paint that he discovered years ago while working with his brother on set designs in the Ed Sullivan Theater. “It’s also the same color used to create a blue screen effect. When you use it, there’s an optical illusion, a blurring effect, which is kind of surreal.”

Tanglewood 2

“Other pieces you might place so as to hide and reveal, but for this particular piece, it’s crucial that there be space around it so that your perspective changes as you come closer…so that it becomes monumental,” says Dark.  Each installation of Tanglewood is unique, and Dark added individual posts to the sculpture once it was placed on-site.

Installation in Progress

Tanglewood Detail
Tanglewood Detail

Tanglewood with Planter

Tanglewood will be on exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden through July, 2017.

Martin Creed, The Back Door at the Park Avenue Armory

Armory Drawing Room
All Photos and Videos By Gail

To have experienced The Back Door, Martin Creed’s interactive art exhibit installed throughout the Park Avenue Armory, was like walking into and exploring an authentically disquieting dreamscape version of Disney’s Haunted Mansion for adults who dig weird art.

Martin Creed Small Canvases

As the most mainstream-accessible part of The Back Door, two collections of small-canvas paintings can be found in the Armory’s first floor Board of Officers Room. It got much less-safe from there.

Small Canvas Painting

Crossing all media including painting, drawing, music, dance, theater, film, sculpture, fashion, and more, Martin Creed’s practice considers our everyday existence and the visible and invisible structures that shape our lives. Creed continues his ongoing exploration into rhythm, scale and order in The Back Door;  the artist’s largest installation in the US to date, which is a survey of his work from its most minimal moments to extravagant, larger-than-life installations.

Installation with Dress Form

Utilizing both the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and the historic interiors of the building, Creed re-imagines the space with opening and closing doors and curtains, a slamming piano, and a room full of balloons, among other new works made for this exhibition. These materials and situations, when grouped together, create a playful spectacle within a framework that provides the viewer with a fascinating way to counter our visually overloaded, choice-saturated culture.

Half the Air in a Given Space Signage

The most popular work in the exhibit is called Half the Air in a Given Space, which is a room filled half-way to the ceiling with large, inflated white latex balloons.

Half The Air

It was recommended that you queue up for this room as soon as you arrived, as there might be a wait of 10 minutes or more. They only let six or so people enter the room at one time. This is why:

Half the Air in a Given Space Signage

Once you squeeze your way into the room, the balloons, which are about 17″ in diameter, will be over your head, and you will need to gently bounce them upward and away from you in order to navigate your way to an exit on the other side of the room, which is marked by a red Exit sign. I wouldn’t recommended this experience to anyone who is prone to panic attacks or who has claustrophobia, or for a small child, but otherwise it is quite fun and there is no need to freak out.

Half the Air in a Given Space Signage

As you can see, I was able to get these fun photos while submerged in a sea of Balloons! When would you ever have the chance to do this again? There were assistants at the room’s exit door, to help you get out.

In the above video, I am in a room called The Parlor, in which the overhead lights flash on and off at one-second intervals for a piece called The Lights Going On and Off. The door on the other side of the room opens automatically, so it is impossible to be trapped in there. Again, no need to panic!

Wade Thompson Drill Hall

Next, I entered the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, which is a massive room the size of an airplane hangar. There is a screen suspended from the ceiling about midway into the room, which shows nearly static film clips of people doing mundane things like sitting and staring.

Film Clip Woman

This is a woman sitting in a room.

Film Clip Room

This is the room she is sitting in. There are six short films ranging in length from 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Exhibition Continues Sign

Across that room to the right, you will see the above sign with an arrow. Follow it to an open door and enter an entirely new space.

Funny Walks

You are now in a long corridor that extends the length of the building, which is divided into 9 small kiosks, each showing a different short film. The first one shows different people crossing the same street, one at a time, while demonstrating a “funny walk,” as the famous Monty Python sketch would call it.

Naked Man

Another film is this naked man standing in a room with occasional close-ups of his ass.

This  video clip is from a film that shows a numerical countdown.

This one is called Fuck Off. Either there was no video, or it just wasn’t working, for this audio-only clip of someone using the F Word, a lot. (Warning: NSFW)

Squatting Woman

I didn’t stick around long enough to find out why she was squatting.

Parental Advisory

When you see this sign, you are about to watch a video of a penis going from flaccid to erect, and back again. Hashtag-trying-too-hard.

These Roving Musicians are fun to stop and listen to as they wander through the various rooms. Those curtains they are seen walking through open and close by themselves, and constitute a separate artwork called A Curtain Opening and Closing.

White Grand Piano
The Veteran’s Room

Grandfather Clock
A Large Piece of Furniture Partially Obstructing a Door

Field and Staff Room

In the Field and Staff Room, you will see chairs stacked on top of other chairs and tables stacked on other tables, a row of small cactus plants in front of a mirror (lower right in the above photo) and a video installation.

IMG_2450

I felt like I was back in the ’60s.

Painting in the North Corridor
Abstract Painting in the North Corridor

Veterans Room 2
Veterans Room

Even if art is not your thing, you would probably have enjoyed its distractions as you explore an amazing historical building and imagine what types of ghosts must inhabit this obviously haunted space.

Find out more about Martin Creed’s The Back Door, which has now closed at This Link!

Park Ave Armory Exterior and Signage

Smart Tree By Nari Ward on The High Line

Smart Tree
All Photos By Gail

Nari Ward (b. 1963, Jamaica) creates sculptural installations from materials he collects in his neighborhoods, ranging from his original hometown in Jamaica, to Harlem, where he has lived since 1983. Ward’s compositions wrestle with memory and belonging, and address topics from justice to health care.

Smart Tree

For his High Line commission, the artist reconfigures a childhood memory. Returning to his father’s home in Jamaica after 15 years away, Ward remembers finding an abandoned car in the front yard, [which was] sprouting a lime tree.  He reimagines this story for the High Line with Smart Tree; the form of a Smart Car refinished with tire treads, propped up on cinder blocks, and sprouting an apple tree from its roof.

Smart Tree

With the car’s cinderblock base representing stasis, and its coating of tire treads suggesting perpetual movement, Smart Tree holds up a mirror to the flux surrounding the High Line itself and reminds viewers of the park’s history as a major transportation artery in Manhattan.

Smart Tree will be on view at the High Line Park Through March of 2017.