Park Avenue Paper Chase


March 8 − July 20, 2014

Park Avenue Paper Chase, a series of seven sculptures by artist Alice Aycock, will grace the canyons of Manhattan this spring and summer. Six works will be on view beginning March 8th until July 20th on the Park Avenue medians between 52nd and 57th Streets. A seventh work will be installed at Park and 66th Street in front of the Park Avenue Armory during the same period. Aycock has long been one of very few women exploring the relationship between structure, site, and viewer on an architectural scale, like her peers Richard Serra and Mark di Suvero.

Ranging in size from 12 – 27 feet in height and 18 – 70 feet in length, the aluminum and fiberglass works in the new installation will form an arresting presence in the heart of midtown Manhattan. According to Aycock “I tried to visualize the movement of wind energy as it flowed up and down the avenue creating random whirlpools, touching down here and there and sometimes forming dynamic three-dimensional massing of forms. The sculptural assemblages suggest waves, wind turbulence, turbines, and vortexes of energy.”

Many of the new works incorporate images of wheels and turbines and references to energy in the form of spirals, whirlwinds, whirlpools, spinning tops, and whirly-gigs. One of the works references the expressive quality of wind through drapery and the chaotic beauty of flow dynamics. The sculptures can be read from both sides of the avenue and the visual narrative plays to both the uptown and downtown movement of traffic patterns. Aycock continues “As much as the sculptures are obviously placed on the mall, I wanted the works to have a random, haphazard quality – in some cases, piling up on itself, with others spinning off into the air.”

A member of the Gordon Matta-Clark/112 Greene Street circle of artists, Aycock has been a prominent presence at Documenta, the Venice and the Whitney Biennials. Her work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Whitney, the National Gallery of Art, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and many other institutions. Her Star Sifter sculpture at JFK Airport’s Terminal One and her East River Roundabout on Manhattan’s Upper East Side are two of dozens of public installations of the artist’s work that can be found around the globe. In 2013, a comprehensive retrospective of her drawings debuted at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton and the Grey Art Gallery at New York University and travelled to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The artist lives and works in New York City.

Park Avenue Paper Chase is made possible by Galerie Thomas Schulte & Fine Art Partners, Berlin; Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami; and Salomon Contemporary, New York. It is presented under the auspices of the Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Aluminum for the sculptures has been generously provided in part by Alcoa with additional funding provided by Anonymous Was A Woman.
Text:  Gina Nanni