Alexandre Arrechea Creating 10 Playful Skyscraper Sculptures for Park Avenue

On March 1 Alexandre Arrechea will unveil a series of 10 playful sculptures re-imagining iconic New York City buildings and installed on the Park Avenue traffic median between 53rd and 67th streets. The Cuban artist is the latest to be commissioned to make works for the highly visible strips of grass by the Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Fund for the Park Avenue Sculpture Committee, in conjunction with his gallery, Magnan Metz.

The 10 sculptures of 10 famous New York buildings in “No Limit” (March 1-June 9) — the Chrysler Building, Citicorp Center, Empire State Building, Flatiron building, Helmsley Building, MetLife Building, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, Seagram Building (pictured), Sherry Netherland, and U.S. Courthouse — will play with the concept of elastic architecture, tweaking their recognizable built characteristics into shapes that seem to float, waver, wind, roll, and are otherwise distorted.

“I believe the same way that a building is exposed to daily elements and changes — cold, heat, rain, fog — it is also exposed to constant changes in function — increases and decreases in market value, tenant use, and therefore purpose and social value,” Arrechea said in a statement. “These persistent modifications are something I want to capture and embody in my work, creating a new model in constant negotiation with its surroundings.”

A book on Arrecha’s work, including the creation of “No Limit,” will be published by Magnan Metz on the occasion of the exhibition. The public installation will also overlap with an exhibition of Arrecha’s watercolors in April at Phillips‘s Park Avenue headquarters.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Image: Rendering of the Seagram Building in Alexandre Arrechea’s 2013 “No Limit” series for Park Avenue Malls. Courtesy of the artist/Magnan Metz Gallery.)