This summer’s installation features Lever House Art Collection alumni Jorge Pardo, Enoc Perez and Urs Fischer – artists defined not only by craft but by a knowledge of architecture and design.
Jorge Pardo, the first official Lever House artist featured from 2003 to 2004, is infamous for fusing art, architecture and design like that of Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler before him. Born in Havana, Cuba in 1963, Pardo’s seductive, table-like sculptures may appear familiar and almost practical, but they are clearly not functional. His environment of glowing colors and anthropomorphic bases made of slatted plywood and colored glass lamps with exposed wires collapses the boundaries of typical art and design, emerging as a vibrant, gleaming garden. The original installation also included four large-scale works on paper with pantone ink, enamel and varnish and used similar bold colors and forms.
Years later, Lever House Art Collection presented artist Enoc Perez in the Spring of 2007. Known for painting glamorous hotels that embodied modernism and the ‘International Style’ of the 1950’s and 60’s, Perez began large-scale oil works of The Lever House itself. Describing each painting as a ‘portrait’, Perez notes, “For every color that is on the painting I make a drawing, on the back of each drawing I apply the corresponding color with oil paint. Then I re-draw the drawings onto the canvas, one color at a time, creating layers of color that form the finished work.” Inspired by the work of Claude Monet’s ROUEN CATHEDRAL and THE DOGE PALACE, the installation totaled four large paintings featuring The Lever House building during different months during different times of the day. This Summer, the Lobby showcases January 2007’s GOLD canvas.
Finally, within the Lobby’s vitrines one can view selections from 2014’s Urs Fischer installation. Known for normally crafting enormous sculptures, like UNTITLED (LAMP/BEAR) or BIG CLAY #4 – both featured at the Seagram Plaza across the street – the Lever House installation included mirrored boxes of small groupings such as CROOKER/CREAGH/CRANOR/CRANER. Originally trained as a photographer, Fischer silk-screened images on all five visible sides, inclusive of the flank and size to-scale creating an effect as if the object were floating. The groups themselves are of common objects: tools, food or commercial items so that “the illusion of reality can persist.” For Fischer: their placement in 2014 across the lobby was random and the commentary was neither political nor socio-economic, going against the objects’ original purposes just like Pop Artists would have in the 1960’s. The only thing impersonating their commercial environs was the added fluorescent lights and the white carpeted floor, thus sanitizing their surroundings.
The works in this exhibition were curated by Richard D. Marshall, who served as The Lever House Art Collection Curator until his passing in 2014.
Works in the Exhibition:
Jorge Pardo (B. 1963)
PROJECT FOR LEVER HOUSE, 2003-04
Birch plywood, blown glass, electric lights and wiring
Overall dimensions variable
Enoc Perez (B. 1967)
LEVER HOUSE (GOLD), JANUARY 2007
Oil on canvas
106”H x 86”W
Urs Fischer (B. 1973)
CROOKER / CREAGH / CRANOR / CRANER, 2012
Silkscreen print on mirror-glass, UV-adhesiv, aluminum in 4-parts
Foam Head: 15 ½”H x 16 ½”W x 12 3/4"D
Key: 17 ¾”H x 8 ¼”W x 1 5/8"D
F: 16 ½”H x 13 ¼”W x 3 ½”D
Spirit Level: 4 5/6”H x 25 ½”W x 1 3/4"D