Yesterday at Pier 3 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, British artist Antony Gormley unveiled a work consisting of more than 11 miles of square aluminum tubing in loops and coils. Entitled New York Clearing, the sculpture rises almost fifty feet against the backdrop of the East River and Lower Manhattan. Resembling a giant slinky or perhaps oversized barbed wire, or the physical manifestation of a complex energy field, New York Clearing is described in a press release from those behind the project as “an environment for the viewer that counters the grid of modernism and the city with swooping lines of energy.”

Antony Gormley's New York ClearingAntony Gormley, NEW YORK CLEARING, 2020. Installation view, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 3, New York City, 2020 Photograph by Christopher Burke

One of the most interesting aspects of New York Clearing is that it is part of a global art series, CONNECT, BTS, sponsored by none other than the Korean pop boyband phenoms, BTS. The artworks are located in London, Berlin, the Salinas Grandes salt lake in Argentina, Seoul, and right here in Brooklyn. Akin to BTS’ cross-border appeal (with sold out shows all over the world, including multiple days at Citi Field last year), the aim of the project is to support a diversity of messages, ideas, and people. The artists were specifically selected because of their “resonance with BTS’ philosophy.”

Antony Gormley's New York Clearing at Brooklyn Bridge ParkPhotograph by Christopher Burke

Art Director Daehyung Lee also commented, “The projects and contemporary artists assembled for CONNECT, BTS offer diverse responses to the world around us. With such powerful message and direction they have taken, BTS has become a global group worth noting among global contemporary artists. BTS’ philosophy in the form of support for diversity, and love and care for the periphery is an important motif of the project. The significance of art, whether it consists of sound, sculpture, photography or another medium, is its innate potential to forge a relationship between artist, viewer, the immediate environment, and the atmosphere which encircles and extends far beyond. This project will encourage appreciation of diversities and establish ground for great new synergies to be born.”

Antony Gormley's New York Clearing at Brooklyn Bridge Park under constructionWork in Progress for NEW YORK CLEARING, 2020. Installation view, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 3, New York City, 2020. Photograph by Scott Rudd.

Gormley states: “This is the first time that I have attempted to make Clearing without architectural support. I am enormously excited about the opportunity of making this energy field in conversation with Manhattan across the waters of the East River. It can be seen as an evocation of human connectivity, a materialisation of the energy of the people that view it and the people that made it.” Gormley previously had an installation in Madison Square Park in 2010.

Header photo by Christopher Burke.

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