The British artist Richard Woods recently unveiled his spectacular public installation (pictured) at Lever House (Park Ave at 54th Street), which isn’t the most visible of the city’s public art commissions, but often the most ambitious and challenging.
I blog a lot about public art (whether commissioned or by street artists) because often it’s the art we see the most often on a day to day basis, and the closest we really come to living with a work of art, which many people in the art world will tell you is the most moving and intimate way of experiencing a piece. And more so perhaps than other public art in New York, Lever House lets you get right up inside the art, which is kind of awesome given the rather intimidating, cold and uber-corporate setting.
Sooo… If you work anywhere in Midtown you should adjust your commute so that you can pass by Woods’ Port Sunlight installation on a regular basis, because it’s quite sprawling and varied, and mostly seems wild and overwhelming at first (it’s up until January 30). He’s coated all the steel columns and benches, and some sections of the interior floor at Lever House in a series of nine 19th century patterns that range from figurative pastoral scenes to abstract, practically psychedelic orange, blue and green. It’s part playful Pop art, historical survey, architectural installation and aggressive re-appropriation. It’s also just about the most colorful thing in the city this time of year, so if you need your spirits brightened (and really, who doesn’t?), go pay Woods’ work a visit, or several.