A summer without art is no summer at all. If you’re an art fan who misses going to museums, keeping up with local galleries and exploring art fairs as much as I do, then you will be excited to learn that the second edition of Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center will usher out the summer with one-month outdoor exhibit of works by six internationally renowned artists: Ghada Amer, Beatriz Cortez, Andy Goldsworthy, Lena Henke, Camille Henrot and Thaddeus Mosley. The site-specificworks will be installed in open, public locations throughout Rockefeller Plaza, allowing for ample social distancing space in compliance with all City and State guidelines. Offering free admission to all, Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center will be on display from September 1st through October 2, 2020.
Memorial Day Monday was not the hoped-for sunny day here in NYC, and the grey sky with threat of rain lent itself to indoor activities like Museum visits! Thus, I was inspired to head out to the Museum of Modern Art, followed by a short walk downtown to Rockefeller Center to see the new summer public artwork. This year’s monumental work is the first site-specific outdoor public sculpture ever to be commissioned for the United States from German artist Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945). Entitled Uraeus, the work consists of a gigantic open book with eagle’s wings 30 feet in span, both made of lead, on top of a 20-foot-tall lead-clad stainless steel column.
Clustered around the base of the column are further oversize lead books, while a large snake coils up the column (you can see the snake’s head rising up over the bottom edge of the open book). Lead is one of Kiefer’s preferred materials for its soft, fluid properties that are traditionally associated with alchemical transformation.
These photos will give you a better view of the statues platform with books scattered about, though it is not easy to get a shot without lots of people coming and going.
The sculpture’s cryptic title, Uraeus, refers to the erect shape of the Egyptian cobra, associated with the serpent goddess Wadjet and a symbol of power and divine authority. The wings evoke the headdresses and necklaces worn by Egyptian royalty in homage to the vulture goddess Nekhbet. Wadjet and Nekhbet were the guardians of Lower and Upper Egypt, respectively, and following ancient Egypt’s unification, became the joint patrons of the civilization. You can read more about the philosophy behind the sculpture at This Link.
This is what the piece looks like shot from the rear and facing Fifth Avenue.
Uraeus is no Seated Ballerina, but it’s worth checking out if you are in the area!
Anselm Kiefer’s Uraeus will be on View Through Jul 22nd, 2018 (expect that tenure to be extended) at the Fifth Avenue entrance to Rockefeller Center’s Channel Gardens, between 49th and 50th Streets, in Midtown Manhattan.
Jeff Koons‘ 45-foot tall inflatable nylon sculpture, Seated Ballerina, went up in Rockefeller Center Plaza on May 12th, 2017 and was originally due to be up only through June 2nd. But the sculpture’s tenure was extended by three weeks due to popular demand, which means you still have until this Friday, June 23rd, to make your pilgrimage to Midtown!
Sunday was so very hot and summery here in the City, and I decided to train it uptown, where I visited a street fair, ate ice cream, and walked all around the Seated Ballerina sculpture, taking shots of her from every angle.
The famous golden statue of Prometheus is just in front of her.
And here’s a shot without Prometheus.
I like that she’s up high enough that you can crop tourists out of your pics, or leave them in for life-size-scale comparison.
This one was taken with my iPhone as opposed to my regular camera. The difference in quality is amazing.
Here’s a detailed look at the back of her skirt.
Here she is as seen through the trees from across 50th street!
Jeff Koons Seated Ballerina can be found in Rockefeller Center Plaza, bordered by Fifth Avenue to the East, Sixth Avenue to the West, 49th Street to the South and 50th Street to the North.
Geoffrey and I had some time to kill after our wonderful day spent at MOMA, so we headed over to Rockefeller Center to check out the latest Jeff Koons public artwork: a giant flowering sculpture depicting half a of Rocking Horse Head and half of a Dinosaur Head called Split-Rocker. Koons did something similar back in 1992 with Puppy, now on permanent view at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
I took a bunch of photos of the sculpture from all angles so you can get an idea of how huge it is and how it looks up close as well as from far away
Here it is from the left Pony side.
Here it is from the right Dinosaur side, where the “Big Eye” is.
Close up of the front, at the sculpture’s base.
Flower Grid Detail.
Jeff Koons Split-Rocker will be On View 24 Hours a Day Through September 12th, 2014. That seems like a long time, but don’t wait too long because you don’t want to miss it!
Lunch Atop a Skyscraper is a life-size recreation by NY-based Sculptor Sergio Furnari of the famous photo by taken by Charles C. Ebbets in 1932. The original photo shows a group of 11 construction workers eating lunch on a crossbeam during the construction of the RCA Building (renamed the GE Building in 1988) at Rockefeller Center in NYC. The sculpture was completed in 2001 and spent five months (from May to October, 2002) on display at Ground Zero before going on tour. It moves around quite a bit, apparently, but currently the statue can be seen on the corner of 45th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.