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The "squashed" stainless steel bean

Mar. 13, 2023

On Jan. 31, Anish Kapoor's first permanent piece of art in New York City was unveiled at 56 Leonard Street. The 14.6-meter-long, 5.8-meter-high, 40T-heavy stainless steel sculpture sits beneath a residential building designed by Herzog&de Meuron in Lower Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood.

The "squashed" stainless steel bean

This time, the balloon-like artwork sits on the sidewalk at the base of the tower, seemingly squeezed beneath a cantilevered apartment. This interaction with the building injects a sense of movement into the artwork, creating "an unprecedented collaboration between sculpture and architecture," according to the developers.

The "squashed" stainless steel bean

I believe many people must have seen the animation of the building, glass, floor, beams, columns falling from the sky, are pressed on the silver balloon, and finally the balloon with its own power to hold up half of the whole building.

The "squashed" stainless steel bean

As the developer Alexico Group put it: Anish Kapoor's sculptures seem to support the building and seem to be being squeezed by it. The piece was commissioned in 2018, but its construction was delayed by the economic slowdown, travel restrictions during the pandemic, and technical difficulties. The as-yet-untitled work has quickly become a favorite punch-in spot for art lovers in the Tribeca neighborhood, home to New York City's art galleries.

The "squashed" stainless steel bean

The city's grand architecture, interwoven concrete, and bustling noise make people feel frenzied, fast, and difficult. My work at 56 Leonard Street is a form: it's made of stainless steel, but it's soft and ephemeral. The mirror stops, absorbs, pulls, slows down time in a way that disrupts it. This work is both a material representation and a new immaterial space.

The "squashed" stainless steel bean

-- Anish Kapoor

This article is reprinted from: Global Architecture Information,

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