New American Public Art’s Pillar at Clippership Wharf
New American Public Art’s large-scale installation Pillar has been unveiled at Boston’s Clippership Wharf. Pillar is a milestone for New American Public Art (NAPA). It is the studio’s first purely conceptual work but maintains their obsession with human curiosity and interaction.
Pillar’s roots are set deep into East Boston’s history, where prehistory and the colonial period meet. The towering, geometric form evokes two kinds of trees: the ancient forests of scaled Lepidodendron trees that blanketed the prehistoric landscape and the Eastern White Pines that enabled New England’s thriving ship-building industry in the 1600’s.
These narratives are literally woven into Pillar. An intricate web of fiber optics is woven into the triangular gaps on the surface of the work. The tight coils of the fiber optic cables were inspired by naval braids and ancient mycelium fungi, the first organism capable of decomposing fallen Lepidodendron’s. While the parametric pattern of holes interspersed across the work evoke the Lepidodendron’s thick scales and the design of the “King’s broad arrow”– a mark used in the 17th century to reserve pines larger than 24 inches in diameter “for the King.”
Pillar’s multi-layered concept and design makes it a work that will reward the curious and create a new hub for social engagement on Clippership Wharf. Designed to engage physical, digital and social creativity, it is intended to have the greatest impact in visitors’ memories and the media they produce there.
Founded in 2014, New American Public Art is “a design-and-build studio at the intersection of public art, architecture, and technology.” NAPA’s works can be found across the United States, including their installation Color Commons on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, MA and forthcoming installation Kempelen’s Owls in Austin, TX. Not merely content with helping to innovate the aesthetics of public art, NAPA open sources all of their designs and code to further the pursuit of a truly open creative economy.
Carole Bolsey at Hudson Yards
Carole Bolsey’s monumental painting Hudson River Backwater [pictured above] will be installed at the Hudson Yards Grill, a restaurant opening at the new development Hudson Yards in New York City. An astonishing 7’ 6” x 26’ 10”, Hudson River Backwater is a landmark commission for Bolsey and will impart a distinctive sense of place at the Hudson Yards Grill. We are proud to have partnered with VisionART Consulting for this project.
Bolsey’s rapturous water lilies immediately bring Monet to mind but their true origin lies in an invented backwater on the Upper Hudson River. In Bolsey’s own words, “the light is North American… the air is clear and crisper than in Monet’s gentle Giverny.” Her bold brushwork and intense color palette delineatesher assertive and dynamic artistic vision.
The painting places the viewer’s eye at water level, as if seated in a canoe, like those that occupy the upper third of the painting. The canoes provide scale and focus, and also signal a human presence that is distinctly egalitarian. Canoes are New World watercraft invented by the Americas’ Native peoples. By incorporating them into the work, Bolsey recalls the long history of the Hudson while also referencing modern-day recreation.
Hudson Yards, a 1,000,000 square foot mixed-use development of residences, shops and restaurants will open publicly on March 15th. Michael Lomonaco, chef of Porter House and formerly of Windows on the World at the World Trade Center, will open Hudson Yards Grill, a 275 seat All-America restaurant. “It’s a no-tablecloth, family restaurant,” Lamonaco says. “It’s very approachable and hospitality-oriented, and will appeal to a large population that’s going to live and work in the area.” Chefs Thomas Keller, David Chang, and Jose Andres (among others) are also opening restaurants in the development, making Hudson Yards an international foodie destination.
Carole Bolsey lives and works in Massachusetts. She received her B.A. in painting at Bennington College, VT and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Switzerland and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Italy. She has taught at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for Visual and Environmental Studies and Graduate School of Design, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Her works are in numerous private, public and corporate collections.