Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 07/12/2015


Photo taken on April 29, 2014



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Keywords

sculpture
Greenwich Village
NYU
Bleecker Street
New York University
NoHo
LaGuardia Place
Silver Towers
Sylvette David
Carl Nesjar
Pablo Picasso
I.M. Pei
statue
streetscape
cityscape
picasso
cubism
USA
United States
New York
New York City
Sigurd Frager


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Bust of Sylvette – Between Bleecker and Houston Streets at LaGuardia Place, New York, New York

Bust of Sylvette – Between Bleecker and Houston Streets at LaGuardia Place, New York, New York
New York University is a large presence in the area adjacent to Greenwich Village. The brutalist "Silver Towers" off Bleecker Street were designed as student housing in the 1960’s by the architectural firm of I.M. Pei. (Pei’s firm was most famous for designing the pyramid glass structure at the Louvre in Paris). Pei who chose to adorn the courtyard of the Silver Towers by enlarging one of five busts sculpted in 1934 by Pablo Picasso. The series of busts was inspired by a woman named Sylvette David.

In 1967 Pei hired Norwegian sculptors Carl Nesjar and Sigurd Frager to recreate the bust (although Picasso oversaw the project through drawings and photos). First cast in black basalt, it was then coated in cement and sandblasted by Nesjar to create the dark permanent lines. The rough cement of the sculpture was meant to compliment the harsh surface of the three identical apartment towers which surrounded it. Resting on a hidden cement base, this keeps it from sinking into the underground parking garage directly beneath it. The enlarged reproduction is some 36 feet in height and weighs 60 tons. The rough cement of the giant bust compliments the harsh surface of the three identical apartment towers which surround it. It was declared a landmark in 2008.

Pierre, Ulrich John have particularly liked this photo


Comments
Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor
An interesting shot on many levels, with informative commentary. Thanks.
2 years ago.