Adam McEwen: 10, FEELS LIKE 2
10, FEELS LIKE 2, featuring the work of New York-based contemporary artist Adam McEwen, is the latest site-specific exhibition commissioned by the Lever House Art Collection. The show’s immersive installation plays off the landmark structure’s iconic architecture – for which the Lever House Collection is named – and the sleek materiality of the building’s lobby-turned-gallery space.
Transforming the first floor of Gordon Bunchaft’s 1952 modernist marvel into an environment recalling that of an ice rink, McEwen’s exhibition subtly distorts the office building’s entrance lobby using connotations of cold temperature – rendered through large tiles of translucent white polyethylene – as a tool to freeze the viewer and the gallery space in a moment in time. When asked about the physical environment, McEwen remarked, “I wanted to leave the space open as much as possible, so that you can see the architecture and so that it’s the architecture that determines what happens. It seemed like using the floor was the simplest way of separating the space from the rest of the world around it”.
McEwen’s refrigerator-like glass box houses paintings and sculptures that explore ideas of memory, and represent various archetypes of Americana culture and daily life. From a stand-still clock, wall-mounted payphone and a 2-ton industrial safe, all fabricated from solid graphite, to a pair of vibrant sponge paintings hovering back-to-back from poles suspended in the lobby’s north-east corner, the exhibition draws connections between past and present in an environment perfectly suited for such challenging visual rhetoric.