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For a good start of this new year, on January 1st the New Yorker Penn Station inaugurated a permanent public art project.

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Stan Douglas, Elmgreen & Dragset and Kehinde Wile were invited to realize site specific interventions inside the Moynihan Train Hall, the latest wing of the historic Penn Station. The renovation of this venue represents a strong and positive symbol for the city of New York which shows that the pandemic situation can be faced by going on. The city spent 1.6 billion dollars on this massive project. The Pennsylvania Station is the biggest railway junction of North America and governor Andrew Cuomo decided to give a sign to the city and its population. 

 

The Clock designed by Peter Pennoyer Architects, ph. by Andrew Moore for The New York Times.

 

To make this place even more special three international artists were called to create installations in dialogue with the structure and its history. Stan Douglas, Elmgreen & Dragset and Kehinde Wiley worked inside Moynihan Train Hall by creating three permanent situations so that travelers can enjoy something unexpected and the Station will also become an interesting meeting point for art lovers. This is one of the strong peculiarities of Public art: to create something unusual that underlines and explains – in a very creative way, with new aesthetics and points of view – what is behind what we are living every day. 

 

Stan Douglas.22 April 1924 and 7 August 1934 from Penn-Station’s Half Century 2020. ©Stan-Douglas.Courtesy of the artist Victoria Miro and David Zwirner.

 

Stan Douglas work Penn Station’s Half Century is a collection of nine big photos representing the old New York that he turned into something new by some digital effects and appropriation. 

 

The Hive, the permanent installations, ph. by Andrew Moore for The New York Times.

 

The work by Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset - the duo who started working together in 1995 – has a sculptural approach: they re-created a New York precious tridimensional skyline and turned it upside down, hanging from the huge ceiling that people will have upon their heads. The impact is alienating, elegant, beautiful: a sort of Broadway scenography installed in a different dimension. The title of Elmgreen & Dragset piece is The Hive and it shows 91 different symbolic buildings belonging to the Big Apple and other worldwide. All the buildings and skyscrapers, facing down, are enlightened by 72 thousand LED lights. The permanent work is visible days and nights. As we wrote before, again the famous duo created an incursion into an urban landscape, an inner space that, thanks to this gesture, change its mood. 

 

The artist duo Elmsgreen & Dragset hoped The Hive.

 

Kehinde Wiley did an homage to the Italian baroque with his unconventional contemporary fresco titled Go. Located on one of the entrances ceiling of the Moynihan Train Hall, the work represents three big glass and colored panels that take inspiration by Tiepolo. 

 

Go, Kehinde Wiley’s triptych, ph. Andrew Moore for The New York Times.

 

Cover image: The Hive, the permanent installations, ph. by Andrew Moore for The New York Times, detail.

Written by Rossella Farinotti

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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