About the Exhibition
MetroSpective celebrates ten years of Public Art Fund projects at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, revisiting six works that were first exhibited there. The retrospective at City Hall Park provides a new venue and audience for these seven artists: Art Domantay, Ken Landauer, Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz, Peter Rostovsky, Do-Ho Suh, and Brian Tolle.
City Hall Park
Broadway & Chambers StreetGet Directions
Art Domantay, Balsa Wood Airplane: The Land that Time Forgot
In Balsa Wood Airplane: The Land That Time Forgot, Domantay has taken a familiar toy, the balsa-wood airplane, and augmented it in scale from a tiny twelve inches to the giant proportion of 15 feet in length. The original iconic design of a balsa-wood airplane, a recognizable childhood object, has been faithfully rendered in every detail, from its torqued rubber band and giant metal clip to the “pre-flight” operating instructions located below the wings. Both the smallest child and the most sophisticated adult can relate to this toy’s simple mechanism and its reference to the dream of flight.
Ken Landauer, Untitled (Picnic Tables)
From a distance, Picnic Tables by Ken Landauer (NY, NY) appear to be like any two ordinary park picnic tables. Closer, they turn out to be super-sized versions of the original, faithfully rendered with appropriately sized nuts, bolts and long two-plank benches. Those that take a seat may find themselves recalling the long-forgotten childhood experience of clambering up unwieldy objects to sit with feet dangling off the ground. Their disarming scale is exaggerated by a disproportionate relationship between height and length, a trick of perspective that leaves one guessing almost until the last minute.
Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz, 9 to 5
9 to 5, a sculpture installed on two of the park’s trees by Walter Martin (b.1953, Norfolk, VA) and Paloma Muñoz (b.1965, Madrid, Spain) features beautiful bronze pears that appear to emerge from faucets and drop into awaiting buckets below. At once subtle and surreal, 9 to 5 seems to tap nature at its source, magically harvesting ripe fruit before it ever reaches the branch. The piece is an improbable twist on the intersection of manmade technology and nature. Its wry workaday title furthers the artists’ commentary on the importance often placed upon streamlined productivity in our daily lives.
Peter Rostovsky, Monument
In Monument by Peter Rostovsky (b.1970, St. Petersburg, Russia), a figure stands at the edge of a daunting precipice far above the head of the viewer, alone at the top of a dramatically jutting mountain. The tiny figure, dressed in a sports coat, is altogether ill-suited for the outdoors, as he peers gingerly from his perch looking out on the world around him. With its generic title and its faux-bronze appearance, Monument is in fact a monument to anyone and no one, dwelling on a state of mind instead of a person, place or thing.
Do-Ho Suh, Maquette for Public Figures
For the lobby of City Hall, Do-Ho Suh (b.1962, Seoul, South Korea) turns the traditional monument upside down with his small-scale maquette for Public Figures. Instead of a single figure perched on a pedestal, Suh creates a pedestal supported by myriad miniature anonymous male and female figures, refocusing the viewer’s attention from the individual to the collective masses. Challenging the established notion of the common citizen revering a monument to an important figure, Suh emphasizes the power of the individual within public space.
Brian Tolle, Witch Catcher
Brian Tolle’s Witch Catcher is a large-scale brick chimney, twisting 25 feet into the air, surrounded by the foundation of a depicted 17th-century New England house. Witch Catcher suggests the archeological layering that occurs with urban development. Tolle (b.1964, New York City, NY) combines fact, fiction and physical presence to invoke collective memory and spark curiosity for history’s neglected corners.