Friday, January 25, 2008

James Wines

This James Wines sculpture - Grey Disc, 1968, painted cement and steel - is another of my favorites from the concourse underneath Empire State Plaza.

Grey Disc at Empire State Plaza is almost like a proto-Sculpture in the Environment piece.... perhaps the experience of placing his piece within the Rockefeller/Harrison context contributed to ideas leading to the founding of SITE two years later.

SITE is maybe BEST known for the nine BEST Products showrooms, commissioned by BEST art patrons Sidney and Frances Lewis... here is some more info on those buildings. BEST Products has gone out of business, and all but one of SITE's BEST buildings has been destroyed... the overgrown and grassy Forest Showroom is now a church.

Ghost Parking Lot, 1978, commissioned by the Hampden Plaza shopping center. Here is what it looked like when it was still new, and here is a gorgeous photo taken in 2002, shortly before it was destroyed.

Indeterminate Facade Showroom, 1975 - everybody who has been to art school in the past thirty years is familiar with this building.

Indeterminate Facade Showroom today. This photo was taken from Diebold Essen's Magellan's Log, where you can see that in this panoramic photo taken in 2002 (scroll right) the original architecture was still extant.

James Wines more recently did the Shake Shack.

RELATED: God Bless Sidney and Frances Lewis.
RELATED: 1983 Time article on James Wines and SITE.


Nomi Lubin said...

Oh, how weird to see the Hamden Plaza car photos! My family moved from NYC to Hamden when I was nine in 1976. So, I remember when those cars were put in. "The dead cars," I used to call them. Some people loved them, but they really disturbed me from the beginning. Those old pictures are so strange to see. One of those kids could have been me. Could it really have been that long ago? The cars, the live ones, are so old! Never knew who'd done the commission. In fact, I don't think I've ever really thought that there were actual artists - designers -- involved. That 2002 photo is amazing.

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