What's 40 feet tall, 55 feet wide, and comes from California? Big Pleasure Point, an astounding new sculpture created especially for Lincoln Center by the renowned Los Angeles-based artist, Nancy Rubins. Soaring over Josie Robertson Plaza in a dynamic arc, the spectacular sculpture, presented by Public Art Fund, is Rubins' first public project for New York in more than 15 years. It also marks Lincoln Center's second collaboration with Public Art Fund, which organized the popular exhibition of sculptures by Franz West at Lincoln Center in 2004. Rubins' exuberant work will be on display until September 5, greeting visitors to the campus throughout all of Lincoln Center's extraordinary summer series of music, dance, theater, opera, free events, and programming from around the world.
Rubins' gravity-defying assemblage of boats over Broadway is made of approximately 45 used canoes, surfboards, and fiberglass boats of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and is expected to weigh in at approximately 6,000 pounds when fully put together. The artist collects these vessels from various sources throughout Southern California, and connects them to an engineered stainless steel armature by a system of welds and steel cabling. Rubins has used this technique many times, including for the permanent work Pleasure Point, which she completed this year for the La Jolla branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. She developed her signature style in the 1980s, when she first began working with scrap airplane parts found in a Mohave Desert junkyard. Rubins continued to take the art world by storm throughout the 1990s with striking pieces made of household appliances, trailers, mattresses, and an assortment of large-scale consumer cast-offs.
The Lincoln Center sculpture will be installed in several steps and actually built on location. The armature is first erected by a crane and attached to the ground with bolts through the cement sidewalk in front of the Plaza. Then, over the course of several days, individual boat elements will be progressively cabled to the sculpture until the artist's desired form has been reached.
Nancy Rubins has exhibited extensively around the world, including at major solo shows in France, the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, the Miami Art Museum, and New York's Museum of Modern Art. In 1993 her work was featured in the Venice Biennale.