|"Jaguar" by Pedro Reyes|
The exhibit was curated by Brett Littman, director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation. Littman's involvement seemed a logical fit since Noguchi's "News" graces the entrance of 50 Rock. (Click here to see Noguchi's Art Deco-style depiction of five journalists vigorously vying for the same story.)
Littman's concept for the exhibit was to create an "alternative sculpture park." Instead of monumental sculptures that towered over pedestrians, he envisioned works on a more human scale. All the better to allow for interaction with both visitors and the architecture of Rock Center itself.
|TJ with "Untitled" by Nice Cave|
With "Dry Cut [from Blacks in the Pool--
Ruby]" by Paulo Nazareth
While I appreciated "Tommie," I preferred Nazareth's "Dry Cut [from Blacks in the Pool -- Ruby]." Again, the title clues the viewer in to what the image represents -- six year old Ruby Bridges being escorted to school on her first day integrating an all white school in the Deep South.
The exhibit included two additional commemorations by Nazareth of significant moments in the Civil Rights movement -- aluminum cut-outs depicting Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. I'm sorry I didn't find my way to the lobby of 45 Rock to check them out.
|"Behind the Walls' by Jaume Plensa|
Another of Littman's goals was to introduce New Yorkers to artists whose sculptures had not been publicly displayed previously. I took some pleasure in knowing that Tampa preceded New York in this regard. Plensa's "Laura with Bun" stands on the plaza in front of the entrance to the Tampa Museum of Art. (Click here to see that work.)
Plensa's sculptures of female heads typically have closed eyes. When speaking with representatives of the Tampa Museum, he commented on this choice by saying, "Look into yourself. My piece is a mirror to reflect your image, so you can think about your own interior -- how much beauty we have inside ourselves."
Plensa's "Behind the Walls" goes a step further from a woman with closed, meditative eyes. "Sometimes our hands are the biggest walls," he said. "They can cover our eyes, and we can blind ourselves to so much of what's happening around us." It's an instinct that's hard to resist some days.
If you didn't catch the Frieze Sculpture exhibit, there's good news. The exhibit will be back at Rock Center next year, with Littman once again serving as curator. And if you happen to be in London, an entirely different Frieze Sculpture exhibit will be on display in Regent's Park from July 3 through mid-October. Happy viewing!