Fund for Park Avenue to Unveil Jorge Otero-Pailos ‘Analogue Sites’ April 1st




Jorge Otero-Pailos, Analogue Sites at 67th Street. Image courtesy Otero-Pailos Studio. Photography: Simon Cherry

 Analogue Sites, a public art exhibition exploring the intersection of art, architecture, and cultural diplomacy by artist and preservation architect Jorge Otero-Pailos, debuts on April 1 on New York’s Park Avenue. Comprising three monumental steel sculptures wrought from fencing that surrounded the former U.S. Embassy in Oslo and inspired by the historical significance of Cold War-era embassies as places of cultural exchange, Analogue Sites highlights the role of American modern art and architecture in cultural diplomacy and advocates for the preservation of these modernist masterpieces at this critical moment of their decommissioning. On view through October 31, 2024, Analogue Sites is installed along Park Avenue at East 53rd, 66th, and 67th Streets to respond to and engage with iconic modernist landmarks including the Seagram Building, the Lever House, and the historic Park Avenue Armory. 

Jorge Otero-Pailos reflected, “In exhibiting these sculptures in New York, I hope to spark a dialogue about the crucial importance of preserving modernist U.S. Embassies and their potential to serve as analogue sites for cultural exchange between America and other countries around the world. Each sculpture tells a story of transformation as the individual lines within them turn towards each other, creating a dynamic, open, and airy collective form. The individual paths of countless immigrants like me began at a U.S. Embassy, and our lives were intertwined and transformed as we became part of the open-ended, collective American story. Embassies have enormous potential as sites of optimism and collective imagination for our multicultural futures. While far away, they are also at the very heart of the American experiment.” 

Jorge Otero-Pailos, Analogue Sites. Image courtesy of the artist and the Fund for Park Avenue

Analogue Sites is presented in partnership with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks Program and The Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee. ”Exhibiting sculpture on Park Avenue gives artists a unique opportunity to share their work with the public and we’re thrilled to kick-off our 2024 season with Analogue Sites, which is ideally suited to be viewed against the backdrop of the Avenue’s architectural landmarks as well as its traditional seasonal plantings,” remarked Barbara McLaughlin, President, The Fund for Park Avenue, and Ronald D. Spencer, Esq, Chairman of The Fund’s Sculpture Committee. 

Jorge Otero-Pailos’ Analogue Sites comes on the heels of his participation in a four-year-long renovation of the Eero Saarinen-designed U.S. Embassy in Oslo (1959), which has been restored for office use and reopened to the public in November 2023. As a preservation architect, Jorge lent his expertise in modernist architecture to guide the preservation plan and the restoration of the original black precast concrete façade in collaboration with Norwegian preservationists and architects. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a free Bloomberg Connect digital guide, set to launch mid-April, which allows visitors to dive deeper into the sculpture-making process and the history of American modernist architecture. 

Jorge Otero-Pailos, Analogue Sites. Image courtesy Otero-Pailos Studio. Photography: Simon Cherry

This spring, Jorge Otero-Pailos will participate in a series of related public programs, including a Spring Program Lecture at Columbia University School of the Arts and a conversation at the American Scandinavian Foundation with Eeva Liissa Pelkonen, Professor and Assistant Dean at Yale School of Architecture, and David B. Peterson, author of U.S. Embassies of the Cold War: The Architecture of Democracy, Diplomacy and Defense. 

To celebrate the opening of Analogue Sites, the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute will host a private cocktail reception on Monday, April 1 at the Park Avenue Armory. “The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute is dedicated to sharing the contributions of Spain and Spanish-speaking people. The Institute is proud to support Jorge Otero-Pailos’ exhibit as he reflects on the importance of architectural preservation and the impact of landmarks as historical markers as we continue to build our future together,” says Maria Begonia Santos, Executive Director of the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute. The April 1 event will gather exhibition and program partners for an artist presentation of the sculptures and an evening of celebration. 

Jorge Otero-Pailos in front of his art installation. Distributed Monuments: American Academy in Rome in 2022. Photography credits: Daniele Molajoli, courtesy of American Academy in Rome.

“These sculptures represent both art and preservation and will help us to recognize the significance of the 

U.S. embassies built during the Cold War, many of which are being decommissioned and sold,” said David B. Peterson, founder of the Onera Foundation, which partially underwrote the exhibition and whose mission is to inform and engage the public about historic preservation and significant architecture in the United States. 

Public programming for this installation began in January, 2024 at The Winter Show with a public presentation of Treaties on De-Fences, the artist’s book of prints inspired by the sculptures.

On Thursday, March 21, 2024, Columbia University School of the Arts will host a Spring Program Lecture for Analogue Sites with the artist, Jorge Otero-Pailos and Matthew Buckingham, Chair of the School of the Arts Visual Arts Program. The event will take place at The Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room from 6:30-9:30pm, Lenfest Center.

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, The American Scandinavian Foundation will host Eeva Liissa Pelkonen, David B. Peterson and Jorge Otero-Pailos in conversation at the American Scandinavian Foundation. This event will take place at 7:00pm in the Borge Auditorium.

The artist, Jorge Otero-Pailos, Analogue Sites. Image courtesy of the artist and the Fund for Park Avenue

About the Artist – Jorge Otero-Pailos (b. 1971, Madrid) is an American-Spanish artist, preservation architect, scholar, and educator renowned for pioneering experimental preservation practices. Alongside his artistic practice, he is Director and Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), where he also directs the Columbia Preservation Technology Lab, and where he founded the first Ph.D. program in Historic Preservation in the U.S. His works have been commissioned by and exhibited at major heritage sites, museums, foundations, and biennials, including the Chicago Architecture Biennale (2017), Artangel’s public art commission at the UK Parliament (2016), the V&A Museum (2015), and the Venice Biennale (2009). He is the recipient of a 2021-22 American Academy in Rome Residency in the visual arts. As a preservation architect, Otero-Pailos collaborates on the creative restoration and interpretation of landmark sites. Notably, Otero-Pailos achieved an award-winning restoration of New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia, in partnership with WorkAC (2013) and the Saarinen-designed former U.S. embassy in Oslo, Norway, with Langdalen Arkitektkontor, Atelier Oslo and Lund Hagem Architects (2023).

Jorge Otero-Pailos: Analogue Sites presented by Fund for Park Avenue will be on view from April 1 through October, 2024. Analogue Sites will coincide with the installation Betsabeé Romero: Traces in Order to Remember.