A Long Island City high-rise has pierced James Turrell’s work at MoMA PS1.

Michelle Santiago Cortés
Jan 18, 2019 3:51PM, via Gothamist

Long Island City in Queens, New York, 2018. Photo by Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Scaffolding from a new building being erected in Long Island City has pierced the view of James Turrell’s iconic work Meeting (1980-86) at MoMA PS1. Meeting was the first of Turrell’s Skyspaces to be installed in the U.S. It consists of a square hole in the ceiling framed with LED lights that turn and change depending on the position of the Sun. As a recent visitor to the piece alerted Gothamist, the tops of the structures being used to build a new high-rise now peek into previously flawless view of the sky.

The scaffolding in question is part of a construction project currently underway across the street from MoMA’s Long Island City outpost, where the historic graffiti mecca, 5Pointz once stood.

According to MoMA PS1 spokesperson Molly Kurzius, who spoke to Gothamist, the scaffolding is temporary and “will not be visible when the building is complete.” The new towers at 22-44 Jackson Avenue in Queens will add 1,115 new residential units to the area, over 200 of which will be affordable housing units.

This isn’t the first time Turrell (who had received a $10 million contribution from Kanye West earlier this week) has had his work affected by residential development. As Hyperallergic reported, in 2013, a luxury condo was built twice as tall as originally intended and interfered with Turrell’s Tending, (Blue) (2003) at Dallas’s Nasher Sculpture Center. The artist had no choice but to declare the work “destroyed.”

Michelle Santiago Cortés
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