Arlene Shechet: Full Steam Ahead in Madison Square Park



Image via Madison Square Park

Madison Square Park will be kicking off its Fall season with the new art installation entitled Full Steam Ahead by artist Arlene Shechet. This installation will consist of a series of sculptures in porcelain, wood, and cast iron installed around and within the emptied circular reflecting pool in the north end of Madison Square Park.

Photo by Jeremy Liebman. Courtesy the artist and Pace Gallery via Madison Square Park Conservancy

The exhibition’s title is inspired by the famous order of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, commonly paraphrased as “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” It pays homage to the Park’s current permanent monument of the Admiral by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gardens, with its pedestal by architect Stanford White.

Shechet’s sculptures not only pay homage to the Admiral, but also include the Admiral, with one of her sculptures to be found sitting on the steps of the monument ~ a powerful carved-wood female figure dipping her feet into  a similarly carved pool of water, as she appears to be in conversation with Farragut.

Other sculptures surrounding the Admiral will display and discern “deliberate contradiction in Shechet’s work: figuration and abstraction, humor and narrative, mass and immateriality, innovation and extinction.”

Image via Madison Square Park

Full Steam Ahead by artist Arlene Shechet will be on view in Madison Square Park from September 25, 2018 to April 28, 2019. It will be located in the reflecting pool, in the northern section of the Park.

Full Steam Ahead is organized by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Senior Curator of Mad. Sq. Art, Julia Friedman, Senior Curatorial Manager, Tom Reidy, Senior Project Manager, and Tessa Ferreyros, Curatorial Manager.