Second Avenue Subway (Blueprint for a Landscape; Subway Portraits; Perfect Strangers; and Elevated)
A&D completed 4 commissions for the new Second Avenue Subway. Sarah Sze’s immersive work at 96th St is integrated with the station architecture, utilizing digital printing technology to fire her drawing directly onto porcelain tiles. At 86th St, 12 portraits by Chuck Close of cultural figures represent New York City archetypes and are rendered in fine micro-mosaic and custom glazed tiles, providing a museum-like experience for riders. Forty mosaic figures by Vik Muniz that line the 72nd St station walls reflect the diversity and individuality of subway passengers. The NY Times quoted one reaction, “There is no feeling quite like seeing yourself cemented into the infrastructure of New York… It lets me know that my city loves me.” A tri-part project for 63rd Street by Jean Shin mines the history of the community and removal of the elevated trains, revealing the sky and residents in ceramic tile, mosaic, and glass. The artists were selected in the period 2009 to 2011, and were announced/unveiled by Governor Cuomo at an event at the Museum of Modern Art. In planning since 1929 and the largest expansion of the city subway system in decades, the historic opening of the new subway line was a citywide celebration. The art has been embraced by the public and covered extensively in the press, as throngs visited the stations to view the four major art installations and the bright and clean subway stations.