|Maelstrom ( by Alice Aycock) on Park Avenue|
|Park Avenue in spring|
By 1980 the city was no longer able to maintain flower beds without support from the community. In 1980, with Mrs. Lasker’s encouragement, the Park Avenue Malls Planting Project, the privately-funded beautification program “The Fund for Park Avenue “ was created. The buildings along the avenue agreed to share the annual cost of planting and maintaining the malls.
Exhibitions are presented by The Sculpture Committee of The Fund for Park Avenue and the Public Art Program of the City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation in collaboration with arts organizations and artists. The first exhibition was in 2000. One of the best from my view was in 2012 when more than 15 works of the French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, commemorating the 10th anniversary of her death, were presented. The Park Avenue installation features a mix of music- and sports-related larger-then-life sculptures with vivid and eye-catching colors.
This year all six sculptures by American artist Alice Aycock are plain white. Ms. Aycock, whose work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, made her name creating a hybrid of architecture and sculpture. She was born in Harrisburg, PA and had been exhibited in major museums and galleries nationally as well as Europe and Japan.
Alice also completed an outdoor sculpture for the new The Star Sifter, a large architectural sculpture for the rotunda of the new Terminal One at JFK International Airport. Alice cited Vladimir Tatlin’s unbuilt tower, “Monument to the Third International” (Tatlin’s tower) as an influential work.
Tatlin’s Tower was a design for a grand monumental building by the Russian artist and architect Vladimir Tatlin, that was never built. It was planned to be erected in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, as the headquarters and monument of the Comintern (the third international).
Alice’s largest sculpture “Maelstrom” stretches for some 70 feet near the Seagram Building It is the largest (longest?) sculpture in the history installed on the mall. All the works will eventually be sold, as will smaller versions of each piece.