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Knot for everyone: rope with scope in New York

Projects | July 1, 2013 | By:

The Madison Square Art program commissioned artist Orly Genger to create an installation for the Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York, N.Y., and gave her a lot of rope. On May 1, the park introduced “Red, Yellow and Blue,” three undulating chambers made of 1.4 million feet of intricately hand-knotted nautical rope covered in 3,000 gallons of paint. The staggering scope of the Red, Yellow and Blue rope constructs surrounding lush green lawn has fascinated park users and given people “platforms for once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” according to Kate D. Levin, cultural affairs commissioner for the Conservancy.

Genger uses repurposed rope that “brings with it the stories of different locations” and incorporates “the tradition of knitting” in her knotted rope assemblages. Steel posts drilled into the ground were threaded with the 100,000 pounds of nautical rope by a platoon of volunteers over an 11-day period. The wave-like forms created by stacking rope layers suggest the eastern coastline; they also create chambers within the park, giving it a more private and intimate feeling. The exhibit will continue through early September, after which it will travel to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and be re-shaped to the new location. Red, Yellow and Blue continues “the tradition of free, contemporary art here in Madison Square Park,” says Veronica White, commissioner of New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

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