Sarah Sze, Shorter than the Day
Sarah Sze‘s sculpture Shorter than the Day was designed to evoke the passage of time through photographs suspended from a web of aluminum and steel. Hundreds of images of different sizes depict the evolution of New York City’s skyline from dawn to midnight, featuring many of sunset and others with the sun radiating against the dark blue sky. The images were also printed on aluminum, appearing like torn paper hanging onto the sculpture via clips. Her sculpture comments on permanence and transience, and it is located near Laura Owens’s mural. The spherical matrix measures 50 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter and overhangs the terminal’s baggage claim.
Sze took inspiration from Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” specifically the lines “We passed the Setting Sun / Or rather — He passed us.” The poem’s title comes from stanza six of the poem, in which she writes “Since then—’tis Centuries—and yet / Feels shorter than the Day.” Sze also cited the Grand Central Terminal clock as additional inspiration. Sze, a professor of visual arts at Columbia University, often uses everyday materials to explore how technology and information impact daily life. Her works have appeared on the High Line, at the 96th Street subway station, and in solo exhibitions at The Whitney and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.