Artists Exhibitions News USA

From Madison Square to suburban shopping mall

Ivan Navarro’s water tower sculptures travel to Dallas

Iván Navarro, This Land Is Your Land, 2014, Madison Square Park. Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein; courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery

A site-specific installation by the Chilean artist Ivan Navarro, recently on show at Madison Square Park in New York, is travelling to an unlikely location: a luxury shopping mall in Texas. This Land Is Your Land, which consists of three water towers propped up on eight-foot stilts, is due to be installed between the department stores Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom at the NorthPark Centre in Dallas for one year (through May 2015).

Navarro was inspired to create This Land Is Your Land after he spotted water towers dotting the tops of buildings during a stroll through Madison Square Park. Instead of water, Navarro’s versions contain reflected neon words that reveal themselves only when viewers crowd underneath the vessels and look up. In Dallas, the works are due to be installed on the first floor of the two-storey shopping centre, offering visitors the opportunity to see them from above as well as below.

This Land Is Your Land is only the third installation from Madison Square Park’s art programme ever to travel. Previous commissions by the artists Orly Genger and Leo Villareal were shown at the DeCordova Sculpture Park in Massachusetts and the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas, respectively.

This latest arrangement may ruffle feathers among those who believe art has become too commercialised. But Navarro was excited by the idea of seeing his work in a new context. “I wanted to bring these towers into the public space on a pedestrian level,” the artist says. “What makes it exciting at NorthPark is the way it brings the outdoors inside.”

It helps that NorthPark is not a typical mall. The facility has a star-studded art collection, including work by Andy Warhol and Frank Stella. Its co-owner Nancy Nasher, who organised the display, is the daughter of Ray Nasher, the founder of the Nasher Sculpture Centre in Dallas.

Iván Navarro, Ladder (Water Tower), 2014
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