November 21, 2012 – September 30, 2013
Western wall between West 21st and West 22nd Streets on the High Line
High Line Art presents Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui's Broken Bridge II, the largest outdoor installation ever by the artist. A monumental sculpture made of pressed tin and mirrors, the work will hang on an outdoor wall next to the High Line, between West 21st and West 22nd Streets, and will be visible from the park and the street below it. Broken Bridge II will be on view from November 21, 2012 through September 30, 2013.
Considered one of the foremost contemporary artists of his generation, El Anatsui is known for his intricate sculptures, which are grand in scale and composed of recycled materials mostly collected near his home in Nigeria. Much of the artist’s work consists of metallic bottle caps, which are culled from discarded Nigerian liquor bottles and woven together with copper wire. These three-dimensional paintings evoke the economic and cultural traditions and histories of West Africa, and the artist's choice of materials engages viewers to reflect on the role that consumer waste plays in changing the parameters of globalization.
For the High Line, the artist will present his largest work to date, an awe-inspiring sculpture that will hang on an outdoor wall next to the park between West 21st and West 22nd Streets. Originally shown in Paris during the 2012 Triennale, this ambitious artwork will be reconfigured by the artist for this unique location. Made of recycled pressed tin and mirrors woven together, Broken Bridge II will create a stunning visual of wave-like patterns and folds, evoking traditional practices of tapestry weaving, while reflecting the surrounding landscape of the High Line. At 37 feet high and 157 feet wide, the installation will be viewable from the High Line and the sidewalks along West 21st and West 22nd Streets, surprising park visitors and pedestrians with its monumental scale.
“We are excited to bring this major work by one of today’s most respected African artists to New York,” said Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art. “El Anatsui makes sculptural paintings that are shimmering architectural arabesques. In his installation at the High Line, he will weave mirrored surfaces into the work, which will reflect the fabric of the city and the High Line’s landscape as it changes throughout the seasons.”
ABOUT EL ANATSUI
El Anatsui (b. 1944, Ghana) lives and works in Nigeria. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (November 28, 2012 – January 12, 2013) as well as Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (February 8 – August 4, 2013), previously at the Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio (June 17 – October 7, 2012). Major international touring exhibitions include the retrospectives El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote To You About Africa (2010 – 2012); A Fateful Journey: Africa in the Works of El Anatsui (2010 – 2011); and El Anatsui: Gawu (2003 – 2008). Select group exhibitions include Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2011); Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2010); Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2010); Institut Valencia D’Art Modern, Valencia (2009); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2008); Museum of Arts and Design, New York (2008); Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2007); PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2007); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005); National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC (2001); and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (1990). Select biennial exhibitions include La Triennale: Intense Proximity, Paris (2012); Moscow Biennale (2009); Prospect.1, New Orleans (2008); 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); 5th Gwangju Biennale (2004); 1st Johannesburg Biennale (1995); 5th Havana Biennale (1994); and 44th Venice Biennale (1990). In 2008, Anatsui received the Visionaries Artist Award from the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. He is also a laureate of the 2009 Prince Claus Award.
ABOUT HIGH LINE ART
Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions and produces public art projects on and around the High Line. Founded in 2009, High Line Art presents a wide array of artwork including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art, and produced by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the uniqueness of the architecture, history, and design of the High Line and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.
High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr., with additional support from the Concordia Foundation and Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art 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. Special thanks to Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
ABOUT THE HIGH LINE AND FRIENDS OF THE HIGH LINE
The High Line is an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the transformation of the High Line at the rail yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.