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Towering Sculptures to Rise Above Columbus Circle

By Alan Neuhauser | September 25, 2013 2:28pm
 The Museum of Art and Design in Columbus Circle is installing two giant sculptures in Columbus Circle and on Broadway Oct. 8, 2013, a promotion for an exhibition on 3D printing, milling and design that's opening Oct. 17, titled Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital."
'Out of Hand' Exhibition at Museum of Art and Design
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MIDTOWN — Bodies, art and industry will collide on two of the borough's busiest thoroughfares next month.

Giant sculptures by artists Michael Rees and Richard Dupont, each built through industrial printing and milling techniques, will go on display on Broadway and Columbus Circle starting Oct. 8, as part of a promotion for a new show at the Museum of Arts and Design titled "Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital."

"It's looking at digital modeling and manufacturing as a current trend in art, architecture and design," curator Ron Labaco said of the two sculptures, titled "Converge: Ghraib Bag" and "Going Around By Passing Through." "What else has the computer done and how else has it affected our 3D landscape?"

The Dupont piece, a 15-foot-tall, digitally scanned mask of the artist's face, will stand outside the museum entrance on Columbus Circle at 59th Street.

The Rees sculpture, meanwhile, "a towering abstraction of wrestling figures" that was created in 2008 and adapted for the exhibition, will rise 16 feet over Broadway just south of 59th Street, according to Labaco and the museum's website.

The piece, inspired by an animated short film that Rees had previously made, was modeled on a computer and then milled by a machine — a process in which a cube of plastic is cut and shaved into shape. Rees then completed the work by hand.

A square QR barcode will be affixed to the base of the installation that visitors can scan to watch Rees' original animation. The film and others will also be displayed on TV screens facing outward from the museum.

"We're hoping they will enliven the space," Labaco said. "They certainly are very large structures. They're very dynamic."

More pieces by Rees and Dupont will also be inside the museum, part of 150 works by 85 designers featured in the "Out of Hand" exhibition. There will also be interactive works, including one allowing visitors to shape a virtual piece of clay into a vase and then go home with a 3D-printed version of their creation.

"It's going to be an interesting exhibition," Labaco said. "I think people will be drawn to the artwork first and the technology, even though the premise is this technology."

The exhibition is scheduled to run from Oct. 16 to July 6.