New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is transforming four stations of its new Second Avenue Subway into an underground art museum – the largest permanent public art installation in New York State history. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the installation on December 19, ahead of the opening of Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway on January 1, 2017.
The new stations will feature four world-class public art installations celebrating the work of internationally renowned artists Sarah Sze, Chuck Close, Vik Muniz, and Jean Shin. The installations are: “Blueprint for a Landscape” by Sarah Sze at 96th St.; “Subway Portraits” by Chuck Close at 86th St.; “Perfect Strangers” by Vik Muniz at 72nd St.; and “Elevated” by Jean Shin at 63rd St.
Sarah Sze has applied a whirlwind of imagery to nearly 4300 unique porcelain wall tiles. Vik Muniz has made an installation featuring more than 36 characters depicted in mosaic, while Chuck Close has created 12 portraits of cultural figures in mosaic and tile. Jean Shin has used archival photographs of the 2nd and 3rd Avenue Elevated train to compose works in ceramic tile, glass mosaic, and laminated glass.
“The Second Avenue subway provides New Yorkers with a museum underground and honors our legacy of building engineering marvels that elevate the human experience,” said Governor Cuomo. “Any child who has never walked into a museum or an art gallery can walk the streets of New York and be exposed to art and education simply by being a New Yorker,” he said.