Since 21 November 2012, users of New York's High Line have been enjoying a new addition to one of the building facades that runs alongside the path, facing the old railway. The wall looks almost as if only half of it were there, the other part lost in a reflection of the surrounding city. The new installation by artist El Anatsui, Broken Bridge II, has recently been incorporated onto one of the buildings between West 21st and West 22nd Street, adjacent to the park that meanders through the city.
Broken Bridges II was commissioned especially by the High Line and has been created using recycled pressed tins which have been overlaid and contrasted with mirror panels. The art covers the width of the building, measuring a total of 157ft wide by 37ft high. With such a large scale piece, the Friends of High Line approached Olson Kundig architects to aid the installation. In order to easily dismount the artwork, the architects developed a wood and steel mesh framework to place underneath the piece.
The original piece of artwork was on show in Paris for the 2012 Triennale and has been reconfigured to suit the site. The artist has been known to create stunning visuals that evoke traditional practices of tapestry weaving throughout all his works, notably always using recycled materials which are collected from the areas surrounding his home in Nigeria. This installation is the artist's largest work to date.
"El Anatsui makes sculptural paintings that are shimmering architectural arabesques. The special armature created by Olson Kundig helped make this monumental installation a reality," says Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art. The installation will remain on show until the summer months of this year.