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New Exhibit to Fill Madison Square Park with 1.4 Million Feet of Rope

By Mary Johnson | November 28, 2012 7:46pm

FLATIRON — Although “Buckyball” continues to dazzle visitors to Madison Square Park with its rotating palette of 16 million distinct colors, the park’s conservancy is already planning ahead to its next big installation — one that will fill the park with enough rope to span the length of Manhattan nearly 20 times over.

“Red, Yellow and Blue” by Brooklyn-based artist Orly Genger consists of 1.4 million feet of painted, knotted rope that was found along hundreds of miles of the Eastern seaboard.

Genger, who said using the park as her canvas allows her to work in “an unprecedented scale,” will coat the rope in more than 3,000 gallons of paint and configure it throughout the park to create distinct chambers for park visitors to explore.

In total, the site-specific installation will weigh some 100,000 pounds.

“For Madison Square Park, I wanted to create a work that would impress in scale but still engage rather than intimidate,” Genger said in a statement. “The repurposed rope brings with it the stories of different locations, and by knotting it, a space is created for the words and thoughts of viewers in New York City to complete the work.”

The piece is scheduled to take over the park beginning May 2 and will be on view through Sept. 8. The installation will then travel to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum outside of Boston, making it the conservancy’s first artistic commission to head outside the city.

“We are thrilled to have commissioned a new work by Orly," Debbie Landau, president of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, said in a statement, "and are delighted that 'Red, Yellow and Blue' will be the first to represent the program outside of New York City.”