The Andy Monument. It stands on the street corner, just as Warhol did when he signed and gave away copies of Interview magazine. Pruitt's sculpture adapts and transforms the familiar tradition of classical statuary. The figure is based on a combination of digital scanning of a live model and hand sculpting, its surface finished in chrome, mounted on a concrete pedestal.
curated by Nicholas Baume
MARCH 30, 2011, NEW YORK, NY—Public Art Fund is pleased to present Rob Pruitt’s The Andy Monument, March 30 – October 2, 2011, at the northwest corner of Union Square. The monument to Andy Warhol, the father of Pop Art and one of New York’s enduring cultural icons is installed just outside the building that housed Warhol’s “Factory” for more than ten years in the 1970s and early 1980s, and just down the street from an earlier “Factory” site. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Rob, whose work has exactly the spirit of generosity and engagement that lends itself so well to public art,” said Nicholas Baume, Public Art Fund Director and Chief Curator. “Inspired by Warhol and his story, Rob moved to New York as a young man and even met Warhol when he visited the ‘Factory’ to interview for a job. Rob’s memory of the artist that day formed the vision for this sculpture, and I think that personal connection will resonate with many who come to visit, just as it does with me.” Pruitt envisions the monument as a pilgrimage site that embodies the spirit of Warhol and the Downtown cultural movement. “Every day a thousand more kids come to New York propelled by his legacy. And even if the decades pass and Warhol's legacy becomes further distant, there is a direct link to him—this pilgrimage, coming here to make it big, to be an artist,” said Pruitt. “Like Oscar Wilde's grave at Père Lachaise, there should be a destination in New York to mark that journey. I think something needs to be in the streets of New York, something you could visit at 4:30 in the morning.”
Adapting the visual language of formal statuary, like the nearby monuments to Gandhi, Lincoln, and Washington, the seven-foot-tall figure stands atop a concrete pedestal, its chromed surface reflecting the surrounding neighborhood where Warhol worked for much of his life: Max’s Kansas City—a favorite Warhol hangout—once stood nearby, Interview magazine was launched in the neighborhood, and Valerie Solanas attempted her assassination of Warhol there. “Andy Warhol spent much of his time here in Union Square and so it is fitting that Rob Pruitt’s The Andy Monument is our first public art installation to grace the new pedestrian plazas at the corner of Broadway and 17th Street,” said Union Square Partnership Executive Director Jennifer Falk. “With the recent completion of Union Square Park’s north end, Union Square is a must-see destination this summer and we look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far when they come to create their own unique experience here.”
ABOUT ROB PRUITT
Rob Pruitt’s work is rooted in a pop sensibility and a playful critique of art world structures. His conceptual projects have included performance-based artworks like his recent Art Awards that were presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2009 and 2010) and modeled after Hollywood awards ceremonies, as well as simple gestures that promote possibilities for creativity in everyday life, as demonstrated in the series 101 Art Ideas You Can Do Yourself (2001). His work is always characterized by an incisive humor and exuberant visual flair. Pruitt lives and works in New York City.
VISITING THE EXHIBITION
The Andy Monument will be on view in the pedestrian mall at the northwest corner of Union Square at 17th Street and Broadway. A free Guide By Cell explanation of the work will be available by calling 646.862.0945.
Major support provided by Con Edison, Rebecca & Marty Eisenberg, Katherine Farley & Jerry I. Speyer, and Holly & Jonathan Lipton. Additional support from Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Made possible through the cooperation of the Union Square Partnership and the New York City Department of Transportation. Special thanks to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe; Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin; New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn; and Union Square Partnership Executive Director, Jennifer Falk.
ABOUT PUBLIC ART FUND
Public Art Fund is New York’s leading presenter of artists’ projects, new commissions, installations, and exhibitions in public spaces. Since 1977, the Public Art Fund has worked with over 500 emerging and established artists to produce innovative temporary exhibitions of contemporary art throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides a unique platform for an unparalleled encounter with the art of our time. For more information about Public Art Fund, please visit http://www.publicartfund.org.
Union square - New York
Northwest corner of Union Square at 17th Street and Broadway
Subways: L,N,Q,R,4,5,6 to Union Square