There is a last chance to see the High Line in its ‘natural’ state. All in the name of art.
Swiss-born sculptor Carol Bove, living and working in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is showing seven works on top of the untouched last section of the elevated rail track.
Works like ’14’ and ‘Cow Watched By Argus’ blend in perfectly with this industrial relic of last century. At some point it looks as if Carol Bove has used some rusty beams of the railway itself. They represent orderly decay, the passing of time, the elements claiming their toll on all things manmade.
These sculptures, composed of iodized I-beams, refer constantly to the linearity of the rails that go partially hidden under the overgrowth.
In another work, ‘Visible Things and Colors’, the use of concrete and the beehive-like metal structure seem to repeat the surrounding city with its compartmented buildings, yes, even the windows and wagons of the trains that are parked beneath.
‘Monel’ is a piece that almost goes unnoticed. A huge slab of metal, weathered and showing damages from hurricane Sandy, lies flat on the train rails. A tombstone? A reminder that, inevitably, parts of this stretch of the High Line is to disappear once restoration will be completed?
As discreetly as these works may want to merge with the surroundings, as eye-catching are Carol Bove’s white spiraling sculptures, also included in this open air exhibition.
The rough materials of the first ones stand in perfect harmony with the state of decay of the wooden sleepers. On the other hand, the highly polished curves of ‘Prudence’ and ‘Celeste’ are like a new wave. They are movement, a transition to the future. To the renewed High Line.
The High Line may be undergoing a substantial transformation. But it’s standing its ground, high and tall, like the “h” of ‘A Glyph’.
(To view this open air exhibition, organized by the High Line Art Program, registration online is required)
(Carol Bove is simultaneously exhibiting works at the MOMA)
(See also my previous post The Wild West Side of Manhattan)