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Tension on Park Avenue

Tension sculptures come to Park Avenu

We’ve had a few weeks to contemplate the thing pictured above.  On first sighting, we weren’t sure whether it was art or Con Edison upping its game.  That five similar installations appeared on the Park Avenue mall strongly suggested that yes, it was art. And each has a plaque in front identifying it as a tension sculpture by Joseph La Piana.

we weren’t sure whether it was art or Con Edison upping its game.

Not everyone will notice that each sculpture is different. They all feature yellow synthetic material stretched between stainless steel polls.  La Piana is a Brooklyn-based artist and this is one of several of his “tension” series. In a version installed in a Red Hook warehouse, the artist, we were told, drew a parallel between “the psychological and emotional boundaries of humankind, testing one’s infinite capacity.”


Tension sculptures grow on us

Plaque explains the yellow installations on Park Avenue.

Let’s just say that the tension sculptures were jarring at first. Their industrial look seemed out of place, especially along the gracious residential stretches of Park Avenue. Now they’re growing on us.  And some vivid color is welcome as we wait for the Park Avenue tulips to bloom.

The tension sculptures come courtesy of The Fund for Park Avenue and NYC Parks and Recreation.

We hope they give Con Edison some ideas.