Jenny Holzer: bigger will be bigger

Le Corbusier* via Jenny Holzer via Larry Silverstein

Speaking of large works of art [from my March 4 post: "...the Whitney rooms are devoted almost exclusively to large works; almost everything can be seen easily from a distance."], Jenny Holzer is completing the installation of a 65-foot-wide, 14-foot-high wall sculpture of moving text commissioned for the lobby of the new 7 World Trade Center. I was downtown this afternoon so I sneaked what looks here like a spy camera shot while I stood in the midst of the construction machinery outside the building shielding my little Minolta.

In an upbeat report in the NYTimes this morning we are told, "Though the artwork resides in the lobby, it is already visible several blocks away."

That even beats the Biennial's "Peace Tower" installed in the dry moat below the Whitney's front windows.

I think it will look fine, perhaps even very, very fine. At least from a distance the Childs building seems to be an improvement over the old 7 WTC, even if much of its virtue may be tied to its glassy near invisibility. I worked in the old fortress for years, and even with a lobby stocked with decent, large-scale late twentieth-century art I shuddered every time I had to walk to or from the elevators. The Lichtenstein, the Held, the Nevelson and the Bleckner [all destroyed] were all basically add-ons inside that pompous and brutally cold corporate control center lobby.

Today's article describes some of the process of the collaboration between the artist, architect David Childs and developer Larry Silverstein. While it clearly won't be one of Holzer's more provocative projects (the texts which had to be cleared by Silverstein, will apparently be as close to sweetness and light as Manhattan ever gets), we may still be able to hope for more later on: "I hope to feed it again," Ms. Holzer said. "It would be nice to keep it alive."

For the sake of all of us, I wish her success.

the complete quote reads:

The George Washington Bridge over the Hudson is the most beautiful bridge in the world. Made of cables and steel beams, it gleams in the sky like a reversed arch. It is blessed. It is the only seat of grace in the disordered city. It is painted an aluminum color and, between water and sky, you see nothing but the bent cord supported by two steel towers. When your car moves up the ramp, the two towers rise so high that it brings you happiness; their structure is so pure, so resolute, so regular that here, finally, steel architecture seems to laughÂ… The second tower is very far away; innumerable vertical cables, gleaming across the sky, are suspended from the magisterial curve that swings down and then up. The rose-colored towers of New York appear, a vision whose harshness is mitigated by distance.

the new 7 WTC: very clean, but nothing new

[it was Barry who drew the connection between what I had written earlier about the Biennial and this project when I mentioned the Times story at the breakfast table]

It's also handy for a work in 7 WTC to be large, because I suspect the general public won't be allowed into the lobby, or even really close to the entrance.

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Published on March 6, 2006 1:42 PM.

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