Grimanesa Amorós
Mar 20, 2014 11:10PM

Light Sculpture Installation 

Financial District 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY Media: LEDs, diffusion and reflective material, custom lighting sequence, electrical hardware 

Dimensions: 25 feet x 18 feet x 18 feet Breathless Maiden Lane suspended in the middle of the atrium, hovering above the ground as if weightless. Although the work appears to defy gravity, a structural grid, designed to echo the building's monumental windows, stands against the back wall of the atrium. This structure serves as the work's spine, supporting the bubble sculptures and graceful LED lines. The lines stretch from the bubbles and structure to explore the architecture of the atrium in undulating loops. Some lines touch the window panes as if grasping for the street. The result is a marvelous tangle of coils, swirls and arcs. A dynamic pattern activates the LEDs, in four shades of white and a golden yellow, giving the work an ethereal quality. At night, reflections from Breathless Maiden Lane bounce off the high shine marble walls, stainless steel ceiling and windows to create an immersive environment of reflections on an endless feedback loop. 

 Courtesy of the artist and Time Equities, Inc. Art-in-Buildings

I created BREATHLESS MAIDEN LANE as a site-specific installation for Time Equities Inc. Art-in-Buildings in New York City.

 “Breathless” conjures the idea of excitement. When a viewer approaches my work, I want them to experience an intense response. New Yorkers have especially developed habits of dealing with the multitude of stimuli that surrounds us every day. When a viewer approaches the light installation, I want to override the viewer’s tendency to ignore their environment and increase their awareness of their surroundings.

I initially developed my concept for this project by walking around Maiden Lane. I immediately felt a strong connection and interest in learning more about the street.

I researched and studied Maiden Lane’s history. To my surprise, there were many theories about the area. In one of my searches, I discovered that the street was called Maagde Paatje when New York was known as New Amsterdam. Another fact I uncovered was Maiden Lane’s history as a winding path for lovers. This winding path provides a perspective, much like the street patterns of Lower Manhattan. Early city planners patterned the majority of the streets in this area to follow pre-existing waterways, rather than the grid pattern imposed on the majority of Manhattan. For this reason, the streets of Lower Manhattan appear to be chaotic.

 The surroundings, the energy, and the people created this busy area. The lane prompted feeling of BREATHLESSNESS.  

 This installation includes different sizes of white tubing and various shades of white LEDs. I placed a gridded metal truss against the back wall of the marble atrium in response to the soaring windows that dominant the building’s architecture. BREATHLESS MAIDEN LANE gives the sensation of rays of light hurtling toward the viewer. With this work, I invite viewers to discover a new way to see and experience Maiden Lane. 

Like many of my large-scale works, I created BREATHLESS MAIDEN LANE for the community and the many individuals who walk by 125 Maiden Lane every day. With this work, I continue to explore my fascination with the intersections of light, sculpture, abstraction, and landscape.

 The sculpture's light sequence will shift and change as the viewer walks around its architectural complexity. The concept of BREATHLESSMAIDEN LANE is to allow the viewers to feel a sense of wonderment and awe.

Grimanesa Amorós