Orly Genger: Full Enclosure

 A section of Orly Genger's  massive installation at Madison Square Park

Back in 2008 I did a blog post on Danielle Julian-Norton’s sculptural wall of stacked translucent amber bars of Neutrogena at the Cynthia Reeves Gallery in Chelsea, calling her The Serra of Soap. Now I might call Orly Genger the Serra of Rope, for her massive installation of crocheted and knotted sculptures, installed currently at Madison Square Park. But I don't want my offhandedness to diminish either artist in any way, as they are very much their own women, handing conventional materials in very unconventional ways. 
Genger’s Red, Yellow and Blue, is a massive installation of crocheted and knotted sculptures that embraces—pretty much literally—4500 square feet of Madison Square Park, a lovely greensward just north of the Flatiron building. Three separate environments of looped, stacked and painted lobster-fishing rope (the project was underwritten in part by the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation) interact dramatically with the landscape.
What you see of the project as you approach Madision Square Park

Red wends it way around the trees at the southernmost end of the park. At the northern end, Yellow undulates around the perimeter of a green lawn. Blue, between them, starts out as a massive wall but mimics the vegetation it surrounds, sending out tendrils into the grass.
The installation is up through September 8. It's open to the public and it's free. Go!

 Here's the same wall on the other side of the tree . . . 

. . . and as it continues, foreground, to encircle a section of park

 A composite panorama giving you a sense of the expanse. Click pic to see the pano large

At the northern end of the park, bordered by 26th Street, the Yellow segment is installed. You can just see it, below, peeking up past the playground. Here the undulations are more vertically oriented in a rolling crawl. Because of the location, there are inevitable associations to hills and hay bales, yet the size and palette bring to mind associations to Richard Serra and Barnett Newman respectively. 

Approaching the park from the northern edge of the park

Yellow viewed from inside the enclosure . . .

. . . and from outside . . .

. . . and from the outside looking in
Blue is installed at midpark, just at the point where Broadway crosses over Fifth Avenue.  While there were plenty of folks fully engaged with the work, others seemed completely oblivious to the effort. Well, at least they give you a sense of scale.

View from the west side of the part. (Foodie alert: Mario Batali's Eataly is across the street.)

This is one termination point of the wall, visible also below

What those bench sitters were totally unaware of was the fabulosity on the other side of the wall . . .

 . . . whose mass dispersed into runners that mimicked the abundant vegetation

Specifics and links:
. 1.4 million feet of nautical rope were used to make the sculptures
. The sculptures were hand crocheted and knotted by hand by Genger and a team of assistants over two years
. The forms are covered in more than 3500 gallons of paint
. A review in the New York Times has more info and a slide show of great pics
. The Larissa Goldston Gallery, which represents Genger, has another great selection of pictures
. Info about the sculptures, the artist, the materials and event times are on the Madison Square Park website


annell4 said...

The colors on nature are so beautiful!!! Thanks for the post.

Nancy Natale said...

Thanks for this post, Joanne. I also read the link to the NY Times article. Orly Genger is certainly committed to working the materials to deliver her vision. I know we'll be seeing a lot more of her work - and she's only 34. Good for her!

David A. Clark said...

Great post Joanne. I imagine from the photos that the sculptural elements and forms are one aspect of the work, but the more visceral way in which the colorful forms influence space would be, for me, the real force of the work. It would be lovely to see and experience it. Your posts give me an insight into the work from afar.

Linda said...

I heard that the sculptures will be coming to the deCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA in late October. I'm looking forward to seeing these pieces - should be interesting to see what happens in the snow.

Dana S. Whitney said...

Can't wait till "it"/she comes to the DeCordoba! Thanks for the photographs.