Do these guys look familiar to you? If you’ve ever spent any time in the subway station at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, you will recognize them as being creations of Tom Otterness, the artist behind the Life Underground installation found in that popular transit hub.
While an adjacent plaque identifies the artwork as Cone Fixing Cylinder (2014), and references its home as the Marlborough Gallery, located at 40 West 57th Street, 2nd Floor, the sculpture is actually tucked away in an access passageway between two adjacent buildings, connecting 57th Street with 56th Street just east of Sixth Avenue. The corridor is home to perhaps a half dozen other sculptures from various aritist. Check it out when you are in the neighborhood!
Chelsea’s Marlborough Gallery is currently hosting the first solo exhibit by New York-based artist Lars Fisk, presenting a group of seven of his signature ball sculptures. Ranging from pea-size to 15 feet in diameter, the works engage mundane subjects from pencil stubs to parking lots. These are fashioned, in their actual materials, into perfected spheres to re-define the object as sculpture. Made primarily by hand in the artist’s Red Hook Brooklyn studio, the sculptures function as a kind of logo for their subject, distilling and encapsulating the physical essence of an object.
Everyday objects, especially ones whose design is so perfected or irreducible as to preempt change, are among Fisk’s favorite subjects. Others are ubiquitous enough to go unheralded, and the artist is keen to ennoble them. In Fisk’s hands a New York City summer staple, the Mister Softee ice cream truck, becomes a symbol for the city itself — an avatar of freewheeling capitalism and boundless appetite.
While his vehicles have been popular subjects, the series actually originated with simpler sculptures of streets —asphalt spheres (a form with no beginning or end and the three dimensional equivalent of an allover composition) painted with yellow and white lines: an embodiment of movement and the continuous fluid interconnection of paved roads. This idea has culminated in Lot Ball, Fisk’s largest sculpture to date, which stands alone, floor-to-ceiling, in the biggest, most dramatic room of the gallery. Approaching a 1:1-scale distillation of the Queens Costco parking lot, with it’s graphic lines and arrows and formal curbing, the work makes a strong case for beauty in the most banal site imaginable.
Here are some other piece from this fun show!
T & S Self Storage Warehouse First Month Free Ball
Trash Can Ball
Street Ball (Cobble)
I think the Manhole Cover is a nice touch!
Subway Balls: Union Square and Spring Street
My favorites are these subway tile mosaic balls with abbreviated names of stations. Very Cool!
Subway Ball: 23rd Street
Mr. Softee By Lars Fisk will be on Exhibit Through October 15th, 2016 at Marlborough Gallery, Located at 545 West 25th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District!