Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Empire" By Eva Rothschild

The new public art installed at the Doris C. Freeman Plaza at 60th Street and Fifth Avenue in Central Park is called "Empire." Irish artist Eva Rothschild (b. Dublin, 1971) 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 her new 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. (information from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website).

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