Alicja Kwade: ParaPivot @ The Met in New York

Using a wide range of media, Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade creates elegant, experiential sculptures and installations that reflect on time, perception, and scientific inquiry. With equal parts poetry and critical insight, she calls into question the systems designed to make sense of an otherwise unfathomable universe. Kwade has created ParaPivot I and II for The Met’s Roof Garden Commission, an annual site-specific installation by a living artist. These towering sculptures consist of powder-coated steel frames that intersect at oblique angles with massive spheres that float in apparent weightlessness in between. Although static, ParaPivot I and II are charged with the possibility of movement: their steel appendages, which fan outward around multiple axes, seem to trace the orbital pathways of the globes evoking an astrolabe or even a miniature solar system. Confronted with the artist’s abstract cosmos, our experience of scale, both human and galactic, is unsettled. Overall, Kwade seeks to recover the mystery and absurdity of the human condition, heightening our powers of self-awareness.

ParaPivot is on view through October 27 at The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY. photographs courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

City Of Memphis Unveils I AM A MAN Plaza: A Tribute To MLK & The 1968 Sanitation Workers' Strike

Sculpture, text and landscape come together to form an important new American Civil Rights memorial. The I AM A MAN Plaza, designed by Cliff Garten, is a large-scale experiential public sculpture commissioned to pay tribute to the members of the pivotal 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Garten and his studio led a design team with Memphis-based landscape architect John Jackson of JPA, Inc. for the 54,000-square-foot memorial plaza. As part of Garten’s plan, spoken word artist Steven Fox held an open dialogue with the greater Memphis community, who through a series of public workshops organized by the UrbanArt Commission, selected pertinent historical text and created an original contemporary text which is etched into the marble gates to the plaza’s entry.  The texts combine as a meditation on America’s struggle and progress with racism and class inequity since the sanitation workers and Dr. Martin Luther King took their historic stand in Memphis. Present at the ribbon cutting were Reverend James Lawson, Cliff Garten, Congressman Steven Cohen, Bill Lucy, Elmore Nickleberry and many of the original sanitation workers who went on strike 50 years ago. Elmore Nickleberry has been a sanitation worker in the city of Memphis for 63 consecutive years. photographs by Lisa Buser