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New York City Art – Gallery Insider: Olafur Eliasson’s Waterfall Project

Posted Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 at 1:00 pm by GalleryInsider in Cultural Bees. More in 10038

As cities go, New York is pretty good in terms of public art. Sure, historically there have been some issues—Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc was removed from the financial district in the 1980’s for a litany of absurd reasons, but the city also allowed Cai Guo-Quiang (currently having a retrospective at the Guggenheim) to explode fireworks in a ring above Central Park, and Roxy Paine’s conjoined gleaming silvery trees brought a bit of wonder to the bleak landscape of Madison Square Park in winter.

This July, Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, in cooperation with The Public Art Fund and NYC, is bringing a spectacular new project to Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan—4 waterfalls. Some spewing out of tall scaffolding, and one, sure to be my favorite, will be cascading from beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. A waterfall coming out of a bridge—how crazy can you get?!

Even if you don’t want to get into the political side of what the work implies (how nice that we can send water cascading incongruously when there are people in the world that can’t get clean water to drink), it should be a great summertime spectacle, and I hope you’ll take the time to check it out.

If you want to brush up on the rest of Eliasson’s work, all of which plays with perception and simple but amazing manipulations of light, air, water, and earth, his retrospective “Take Your Time”, is now showing at MoMA and PS1. For an astute review of this show, check out Holland Cotter’s article in the NY Times.

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