Charles Mary Kubricht, Alive-Nesses: Proposal for Adaptation

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On long-term view
On the High Line at West 30th Street


Charles Mary Kubricht has transformed park storage containers located on the High Line at the Rail Yards. The High Line at the Rail Yards is located between West 30th and West 34th Streets, and the installation is on view from the northern end of the park, near West 30th Street.

Kubricht’s installation is inspired by dazzle, a type of protective design and coloration on animals described by Abbott Thayer in America and developed into military camouflage by Norman Wilkinson in Great Britain during World War I. Dazzle camouflage was used to confuse the enemy by disguising the ships and complicating the tracking of the ship’s movement. For the High Line, the artist will paint black and white disruptive patterns on park storage containers, altering the view of these large structures from the northern end of the High Line.


Alive-nesses: Proposal for Adaptation gives Kubricht the opportunity to play with the intrinsic geometry of objects using her large black and white geometric compositions. Positioned within the elevated cityscape provided by the High Line, the artist’s treatment of the park storage containers distorts their appearance and translates the act of viewing them into a heightened visceral experience. This technique invites the viewer to move and change directions, altering familiar visual information and questioning the objects’ shape and form, as well as the viewer’s field of vision.

“While learning elementary tracking techniques, I was forced to consider a number of factors that revised the models of figure/ground relations I was taught as an artist” Kubricht says. “I became acquainted with the presence of subtle disturbances on the ground and the positioning of the perceiving body relative to the object as well as the possibility of attempted concealment and camouflage.”

About the Artist

Charles Mary Kubricht lives and works in Texas and New York. Her work has been been the subject of museum solo exhibitions at venues such as the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston TX, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX. and Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX. In 2010 she was awarded a GSA Art in Architecture commission for the border between the United States and Mexico, a Rice University Public Art Program commission on the Rice University campus, and a residency at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York. In 2012, she will chair the Public Art and Environmental Activism conference at Rice University.


This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr., with additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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