Monday, July 25, 2011

"Sol LeWitt" at City Hall Park, NYC.

Sol LeWitt, City Hall Park, NYC, 2011.
This summer in NYC, you can see more than birds and squirrels and the occasional intrepid sunbather at city parks. Currently on view in the City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan are "structures" by the American artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007). LeWitt, who practiced with a variety of materials and mediums during his long career, had a life-long fascination with the cube, which appears in much of his structures. (A term he preferred to "sculpture").

Sol LeWitt, City Hall Park, NYC, 2011.
The exhibit at City Hall Park includes 27 works form this series, which examine the cube in various combinations. The playfulness of some of his work is a perfect compliment to the park, with fountains bubbling and children playing. Plus the stark, white, geometric forms perfectly contrast the abundance of summer flora all around them.
Sol LeWitt, City Hall Park, NYC, 2011.
It's always fun to see art in public places, to see how people react to it, appreciate it, or ignore it. But the beauty is the democratization of it - world class art right there for anyone to see, or for a pigeon to rest upon.
Sol LeWitt, City Hall Park, NYC, 2011.
It is really taking the museum to the street, or to the park in this case, which fits right in with LeWitt's artistic mission. In his career, he not only taught art, but published over 50 artist books sharing his work and ideas. Along with others, he helped found "Printed Matter", an artist's book store in Chelsea.

Sol LeWitt, City Hall Park, NYC, 2011.
As I made my way through the park, each turn produced another crisp white work or art. And in case your wondering, Yes, there is an app for that. You can download an app for iPhone that explains what each piece represents and meant in this collection. I learned that his original art studio in NYC was in the Lower East Side, on Hester Street, which was where my first apartment was in Manhattan, on Orchard Street at Hester. 

One of the many art exhibits this summer in parks and other public places, it just proves that you don't have to go far to see art in NYC!

Frank Gehry Tower, NYC, 2011.
Sometimes all you have to do is look up, which is what I did when leaving the park. There, the trees parted and gave way to a sky pierced by an enormous gleaming tower. The new Frank Gehry tower is the tallest residential building in the world! Its undulating facade catching and reflecting the light in multiple directions all at once, combined with its height, really make a statement in the skyline. Indeed, art is everywhere, if you want to see it.

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