Public art season is in full swing: Park Avenue's already got Will Ryman's giant roses, and this week, a few blocks to the south, Christie's will be installing Red Hook-based art star Urs Fischer's massive bronze teddy bear sculpture "Untitled (Lamp/Bear)" (pictured) at the foot of the Seagram Building.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the epic, 20-ton sculpture—based on a one-foot knitted bear that was scanned by a Swiss firm and fabricated in three editions in its immensely magnified form by a Shanghai foundry—will head to auction next month, and is expected to fetch a Koonsian sum well over $10 million.
To prepare for its arrival at the pedestrian plaza outside the Seagram Building—the property of major art collector and real estate mogul Aby Rosen, one of the sculpture's sellers along with Warhol dealer Alberto Mugrabi—the space's floor had to be reinforced to handle the piece's incredible weight and six city permits had to be procured. When the "Untitled (Lamp/Bear)" is installed sometime this week, a team of roughly 30 workers will be on hand to put its massive pieces together and hook up its electronics—at nighttime, the giant light bulb above the bear's head lights up. The other two bears, another yellow one and a blue one, belong to entrepreneur Adam Lindemann (who keeps his next to his comparatively tiny summer house in Montauk) and hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen.
Fischer, who had his first major survey in the U.S. in 2009 at the New Museum, is known for such monumental sculptures often based on tiny objects. He has yet to claim exclusive rights to all teddy bear images. (ArtInfo, Photo)