Broken Bridge II is the second iteration of El Anatsui‘s artwork, with the original shown in Paris during the 2012 Triennale. The latest version was made with the same materials but reworked to fit the expansive facade of a brick building between West 21st and 22nd Streets. The work measures 157-ft by 37-ft and is a tapestry made of pressed tin and mirrors. El Anatsui is known for his sculptures and wall tapestries made from collected metallic bottle caps from discarded Nigerian liquor bottles woven together with copper wire. Broken Bridge II is his largest work to date and evokes a textile-like feeling with its patterns and folds.
To efficiently and effectively install the artwork onto the side of the building, Friends of the High Line and High Line Art commissioned Olson Kundig Architects to design a racking system to hold all of the pieces. They created a wood and steel mesh temporary mounting system that hangs from the rooftop of the existing building to leave minimal markings when removed later in the year. This beautiful installation makes it seem as though part of the building is actually missing and filled with sky. Broken Bridge II is on view now and will be on display through summer 2013.
“We are excited to bring this major work by one of today’s most respected African artists to New York,” said Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art. “El Anatsui makes sculptural paintings that are shimmering architectural arabesques. In his installation at the High Line, he will weave mirrored surfaces into the work, which will reflect the fabric of the city and the High Line’s landscape as it changes throughout the seasons.”
Images ©Olson Kundig Architects and Austin Kennedy, courtesy of High Line Art