ListenIntroduction by Nicholas BaumeEva Rothschild and Empire
In Empire, her first public art commission in the United States, Irish artist Eva Rothschild (b.1971, Dublin, Ireland) has created a monumental, multidirectional archway. Responding to the site, a point of transition between city and park, Rothschild has taken inspiration from the naturally arching canopy formed by Central Park’s mature trees. The linear structure takes root at ten points on the plaza, touching down lightly as its branching form rises above us.
Empire creates a physical tension between its imposing volume and its spidery, intersecting elements, which are further broken up by irregular bands of color. With its pulsing visual energy, the sculpture suggests multiple images — perhaps the tail of a broomstick or a bolt of lightning. We are free to make our own associations. Rothschild’s chosen title, Empire, resonates with the location of the work: the heart of the “Empire State.” At the same time, we might consider the sculpture as a playful counterpoint to the architectural tradition of the monumental arch, a structure often used historically to represent the triumph of an imperial power.
This exhibition is curated by Nicholas Baume.
Major support provided by Tod Williams & Billie Tsien and an anonymous donor.
Additional funding provided by Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; The Modern Institute, Glasgow; 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Supported by the British Council.
Made possible through the partnership of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe; Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin; and the Central Park Conservancy.
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