Saturday, March 09, 2013

'United Enemies'

I'm grateful for New York's vast array of public artwork, which lets me take the kids on art excursions without worrying about destroying a museum.

Today we went to see Thomas Schütte's "United Enemies," two large bronze statues installed temporarily at the southeast corner of Central Park.


I was a little disappointed by the choice of location for the artwork. When I saw photos of it displayed in London's Kensington Gardens, it seemed more striking.

Photo courtesy of the Guardian.

Here at the edge of Central Park — near the bustle of taxis, horse-drawn carriages and another, much-larger statue (the golden monument to William Tecumseh Sherman on horseback) — it's harder to stand out.


Still, it's an impressive piece — with a significance that's easily understood.

From the description on the Public Art Fund site, which sponsored the Schütte installation:
His colossal figures do not stand heroically atop a classical pedestal but seem to stagger, earthbound, on tripods of bundled poles. Struggling to be rid of its mate, each figure is nevertheless incapable of standing alone.


For these siblings/roommates, who vacillate between affection and violence every other minute, that message is loud and clear.