“Arlene Shechet: Full Steam Ahead”

Art, Contemporary art
Arlene Shechet, Full Steam Ahead, 2018
Photograph: Rashmi Gill, courtesy Madison Square Park Conservancy

For this outdoor installation, the artist is arraying a series of quirky abstract sculptures in porcelain, wood and cast iron around Madison Square Park’s central fountain, which has been drained for the occasion. The installation’s title is taken from a famous order given by Admiral David Farragut, whose statue stands nearby, at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. When his squadron began to withdraw after one of its ships was sunk, he ordered it to reverse course and charge the harbor. “Damn the torpedoes,” he said, using period nomenclature for mines, “full speed ahead!”

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