Helen Brough’s “Emulated Flora” at 70 Washington St.

There was a mention of Helen Brough’s sculptural installation at 70 Washington Street in Dumbo, “Emulated Flora” in today’s New York Sun.

It was completed in May for the new condominium conversion of 70 Washington Street, a sprawling block-wide warehouse in DUMBO.

The piece was commissioned by David Walentas, the property mogul who owns most of the area. Ms. Brough (b.1966) had been a participant of the Triangle Artists’ Workshop’s first residency program, generously hosted in 2002 by Mr. Walentas at 70 Washington before renovations began. This makes “Emulated Flora” a rare, happy link between the artists who helped put the neighborhood on the map and the affluent residents basking in its upward transformation.

The work consists of dozens of lasercut Plexiglas shapes — in a variety of colors and arranged in parallel lines — that are suspended from, or bolted to, a mirrored ceiling extending over the whole lobby. Each element is around 18 inches high and hangs well overhead. Some of the shapes are also themselves cut from sheets of mirror. From the street, and then more intensely within the lobby, one senses row upon row of translucent plastic, curvaceous shape, and chirpy, soft, nursery color. The layering puts you in mind of rows of scenery in a theater’s eaves.The mirroring doubles the perceived depth of the work, giving a soaring sensation of light and color above.

The controversial installation was discussed last November on curbed.com. Most people seem to hate it, but we know Walentas is not afraid of controversial art.

{An Explosion of Color, and of Bridal White, New York Sun, August 17, 2006}