Two Yale alumni have their art featured in New York City subways stations. The works from Chuck Close ’64MFA and Sarah Sze ’91 are part of a major project to expand public artwork in the city’s public transit system.
The New York times describes the plan as “one of the most ambitious contemporary art projects that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has ever undertaken. The agency’s art department, M.T.A. Arts & Design, founded and first funded in 1985, is rarely — in a salmagundi system 112 years old — presented with a brand-new, blank canvas. But lately, with the opening of the superstation at Fulton Street downtown and the extension of the No. 7 line to a new terminus on West 34th Street, the subway’s art thinkers have been able to participate almost from the beginning in incorporating installations in tile work by leading artists into stations’ designs. If the effort doesn’t always result in stations that look like artworks themselves, as some of the best stations in Europe and Asia do, it has nonetheless put the aesthetic front and center again in a way that evokes the ambition of the city’s first subway stations in 1904, with their mosaics, faience and amethyst-glass skylights.”
Close has portraits presented in the 86th Street station. Sze’s art is displayed in the 96th Street station.