Let’s start the new year with a look at an art installation that uncovers something old. Framing Union Square by Mary Miss, located in the 14th Street-Union Square subway station in Manhattan, is one of my favorite MTA public artworks because, instead of adding beauty and meaning to the space, it highlights historic architectural and structural elements of the station.
115 red frames throughout the maze-like station showcase elements uncovered during a renovation, including decorative elements like tile name plates, and also more mundane bits such as rivets and wiring. The “14” eagle shown above was one of several installed in the station back in 1904.
See more photos here and here. Mary Miss uses installation in the public realm to address the larger issues of our time, including history and environmental sustainability. Similar thinking, but an entirely different context, resulted in her installation in 100 Acres in Indianapolis, entitled FLOW: Can You See the River?