Former Vice President (and now Democratic candidate for President) Joe Biden once described LaGuardia's 56-year-old Central Terminal as "third-world," and, well, he wasn't wrong. With the possible exception of Penn Station, or maybe the Port Authority Bus Terminal, LaGuardia is undoubtedly the ugliest transportation hub in NYC. But no more! On Saturday, its shiny, new replacement, the $4 billion Terminal B, will have its grand opening. It won't be just a place for coming and going, either, but also a spectacular, light-filled showcase for public art.
As part of its slate of new exhibits, the Public Art Fund, in collaboration with LaGuardia Gateway Partners, commissioned four internationally acclaimed artists—Jeppe Hein, Sabine Hornig, Laura Owens and Sarah Sze—to create site-specific works for the building. So, the next time you fly in or out of LaGuardia, here's what you can expect:
Jeppe Hein, All Your Wishes
The Danish artist is distributing 70 colorful "party balloons" throughout the Terminal B concourse. Made of reflective stainless steel, each balloons bumps against the ceiling as if a child had lost it. The artist describes them as a "fairytale breadcrumb trail," inviting viewers to "look skyward and embrace their sense of wonder." Completing the piece are three bright-red benches on the floor that fancifully curve, loop and twist, serving as a whimsical respite for weary travelers.
Sabine Hornig, La Guardia Vistas
Hornig has created a kind of cathedral window effect in the form of huge transparent photo-collages filling an expansive glass façade. The Berlin artist's composition merges over 1100 photographs of New York City into a kaleidoscopic wash of color, image and texts featuring quotes by and about airport namesake and former NYC Mayor, Fiorello La Guardia.
Laura Owens, I [Pizza] NY
The title of Owens's colossal mosaic mural for Terminal B's largest wall is actually a pizza emoji separating the letters I and NY, which pretty much sums up the quirky tone of the Los Angeles painter's love letter to NYC. Using handmade glazed ceramic tiles for the first time, Owens has situated referential shout-outs to the Five Boroughs—among them, the Cyclone at Coney Island, the Apollo theater sign in Harlem, an ice-cream truck, the Chrysler Building and the aforementioned slice to go—against a blue sky filled with puffy white clouds.
Sarah Sze, Shorter than the Day
Known for ethereal assemblages made from found materials, Sze offers a monumental spherical sculpture that's part exploded diagram, part globe. Made of steel and aluminum, the piece, which takes its name from a poem by Emily Dickinson, is essentially a skeletal armature on which Sze has clipped hundreds of photographs of the sky above New York City taken over a single day. Appearing to swirl in mid-air, the photos create a dizzying constellation of images that, much like Dickson's work, meditates on permanence and transience.
Most popular on Time Out
- Here’s what will reopen in NYC during Phase 2
- 14 notable NYC restaurants and bars that have now permanently closed
- Here’s what you can expect the next time you take the subway
- Why you should be watching this new HBO show set in NYC
- When will hair salons reopen in NYC?