The Union Square Partnership and New York City Department of Parks & Recreation are pleased to announce the installation of Microscopic Landscape 2010, by artist Malcolm D. MacDougall III. The work will be located on the plaza of Union Square’s Triangle Park on Broadway and Park Avenue South between 14th and 15th streets now through January 2013.
Union Square Park and Microscopic Landscape share a natural dialog. At the vibrant nexus of New York City, the constant motion of Union Square is a microcosm of diversity that defines the city. Similarly, Microscopic Landscape finds its inspiration in the multi-faceted structures and activities seen on the molecular level. The sculpture serves as a snapshot of this ongoing activity; it is a static object that maintains the constant anticipation of movement, just as the grounds of Union Square provide the framework for the energetic flow of people and commerce. The sculpture, 24 feet long and 7,500 pounds, “is about potential energy and pushing a stagnant object as close to perceived movement as possible,” MacDougall explains.
MacDougall has produced a number of large-scale works that play off organic and inorganic metaphors. “My art stems from a fascination with the natural sciences. In particular, I am drawn to microscopy, the method of using microscopes to view objects that cannot be seen by the unaided eye.” Snapshots of bacteria and cellular platelets retrieved by this method are a metaphor for his sculptures. Although stagnate, they remain imbued with the sense that the forms and surfaces will continue to undulate and recalibrate as time passes. On a macro level, MacDougall draws from geological processes, such as the dynamic effects of plate tectonics and erosion on the landscape. Microscopic Landscape indeed reflects the artist’s fascination with these micro and macro views of nature.
MacDougall, 22, is a graduate of SUNY Purchase College’s School of Art and Design. He currently works in his Dobbs Ferry studio located on the banks of the Hudson River. The Union Square Park installation marks the first exhibition of his work in New York City.
The Union Square Partnership (USP) is a private, not-for-profit, community-based organization responsible for the revitalization of the 14th Street-Union Square neighborhood. USP’s mission is to improve the quality-of-life for the district’s residents, businesses, and visitors, by providing public safety, sanitation, marketing and business development services, as well as investing in the beautification and maintenance of Union Square Park. USP also conducts a host of free events for the public, including volunteer days, networking opportunities and “Summer in the Square,” a weekly event series in the park. For more information, visit unionsquarenyc.org.
The City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation Art in the Parks program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks.