Presented in collaboration with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program and the Union Square Partnership, the sculpture ~ Washington 20/20/20 ~ by artist, Kenseth Armstead, was composed as a companion to the first sculpture on New York City parkland, the George Washington Statue in Union Square.
The design of the work, which is a perforated steel sculpture, is taken from the elaborate frescoes of Tiebele, Burkina Faso, the royal court of the Kassena people, where every home is hand-painted. Washington 20/20/20 transforms the two-dimensional marks into translucent perforated steel forms on a two-ton angle iron steel frame.
Washington 20/20/20 is an African architectural adornment to the solid granite base of the existing park monument. The work references the 20% of the colonial population that were enslaved Africans ~ the 20,000 slaves in New York State in 1776 when Washington retreated from New York City, and the 20% of Washington’s continental army that was African at Yorktown, Virginia, where he was able to defeat the British in 1781.
The sculpture is a part of Amstead’s ongoing series, Farther Land, which explores the African-American experience inside the American Revolution, responding to the age of revolution and the founders’ declaration that “all men are created equal” with irony and suggestive formal content.
The Public Art Opening for Kenseth Armstead: Washington 20/20/20 will take place one Thursday, September 6, 2018 from 6-8pm at the southern Union Square Park plaza on 14th Street, at the monument of George Washington.
Washinton 20/20/20 will be on view to November 1, 2018. Follow the artist, Kenseth Armstead, on Instagram.