A rendering of Anish Kapoor's sculpture at 56 Leonard Street in New York © Anish Kapoor
Since it was installed in Chicagos Millennium Park in 2004, Anish Kapoors mirrored metal sculpture Cloud Gate—more affectionately known as “The Bean”—has become a magnet for art loving residents and tourists alike. Now, New York is finally getting its own shiny statement piece by the artist, his first permanent public work in the city, but instead of a luxe legume it will resemble a squashed balloon.
Alexico Group, the development firm behind Tribecas 60-storey “Jenga Tower”, a Herzog & de Meuron-designed residential high-rise at 56 Leonard Street, announced that it will start installing a public sculpture by Anish Kapoor commissioned specifically for the building in the second week of November. The “enigmatic balloon-like form” as the developers describe the 40-ton, 48ft-long, 19ft-high work of art in a statement, “will seemingly both prop up the building and be squashed by it”. Jutting out from the base of the tower and onto the sidewalk, at the corner of Church Street and Leonard Street, the as yet untitled sculpture is expected to “become a must-see destination”.
“We are excited to be starting the installation of this work that completes our vision for 56 Leonard in Tribeca and will draw arts and culture lovers to its magical seamless surface,” Izak Senbahar, president of Alexico Group, said in a statement. The path to realising the sculpture has not been easy, however. Designs for the work were first released in 2008, but fabrication was delayed due to challenges in finding a cost-effective way to join the metal sections of the work while ensuring a flawless finish.