Winter cold be darned, Inhabitat went to the High Line to check out El Anatsui’s gorgeous new recycled art installation Broken Bridge II. Despite the bitter chill, puffy clouds and blue sky reflected beautifully in the installation’s pressed mirror wall, which was salvaged from scraps. The piece is another of the Ghanian artist’s beautiful oversized tapestries made from upcycled materials, and it was installed with the help of Olson Kundig Architects.
The massive installation may be the High Line park’s biggest commission, stretching across the side of an entire building between West 21st and West 22nd Street. Anatsui treats the reclaimed, weathered tin as a texture, the rectangular panes forming a patchwork of varying rust color. With uneven pattern, the frigid tin appears to be fragile, almost crumbling like sheets of paper rather than hammered metal.
Interspersed throughout the rusted patchworks are smooth panes of mirror, resembling calm pools amidst a rugged landscape. The mirror planes reach the edge of the host building at the roof, its reflections blurring the lines between installation and sky.
As visitors walk along the High Line, the surrounding cityscape, sky, clouds, and birds reflect in Anatsui’s installation, creating a constant dialogue between the piece and the city it lies in. Guarded by a thicket of the High Line’s trees and shrubbery, Broken Bridge II is at once part of the landscape, but also secluded and unattached.
New Yorkers can enjoy the piece as it changes with the seasons, reflecting winter to spring and finally the summer of 2013.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat