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The Cradle Of Contemporary Art: New York

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Written by Nadie Avangelina

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New York City is renowned for its cultural diversity that distills art into every corner and that has seen artists grow from Pollock to Banksy. After the World Wars, and thanks to patrons like Peggy Guggenheim, the Big Apple became the center of new artistic avant-garde talent, displacing Paris' centuries-old leadership. Since then, it has been a place that has supported the rebellious spirits of emerging artists to this day. New York is not only a place propitious for the creativity of contemporary art, but it is also embodied in the art of different artists as it represents an endless source of inspiration.

Red Cube (Getty Images) Edward Hopper (Getty Images) Jean Dubeffet (Getty Images)

From an introspective look to the shared experience of public space, these works have reflected the different ways of thinking in such an overwhelming and complex city. Artists such as Romulo Macció and Edward Hopper have portrayed their personal experiences of the city in their paintings from different perspectives. This is how we can contemplate the loneliness of the anonymous characters and also an image full of vitality and energy.

In the less expected locations, the site-specific works dialogue directly with their surroundings and invite the passer-by to interact. "Groupe de Quatres Arbres" by Jean Dubuffet, located in the heart of FiDi, is a set of black and white minimalist curved figures that contrast with the straight lines of the Chase Manhattan Plaza skyscraper, built in the sixties. The artist Isamu Noguchi, remembered for his abstract structures that combine Eastern and Western aesthetics, also left his mark with the enormous sculpture “Red Cube” (1968).

Maccio (Getty Images) Maccio (Getty Images)

More recently, the Madrid artist Jorge Palacios has stressed the importance of reflecting on the intervened space. "Sketch in the Air" (2015), a large scale wood sculpture, has been exhibited in the emblematic Spring Street of Manhattan next to the Trump SoHo building with the purpose of exposing the cultural clash in the big city through the simplification of form. Whether on the street walls, under the subway, or inside the galleries, New York offers the possibility to meet and be surprised by different artworks; as well as its spirit impregnates in the visual imaginary.

Edward Hopper (Getty Images) Edward Hopper (Getty Images) Sketch in the Air (Getty Images)


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