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MAD Museum and

2 Columbus Circle

   
 

  The Art of Recycling!

   

 

  

 

The passionate fight to save Edward Durrell Stone's building at 2 Columbus Circle (and now the Museum of Art and Design or MAD) was lost - and we are not entirely happy with the conservative redesign by architect Brad Cloepfil.  The whimsy and originality of the original 1964 building, with its Venetian influences, has been effaced completely.  The lollipop arches remain on the ground floor, but the rest of the façade seems safe - an attempt to blend into the fabric of the city. 

On the exterior, white marble has been replaced by glazed terracotta tiles that are coated to reflect light at night, and there is a neutral indeterminate look to the building.  However, on the inside the redesign appears to have enhanced the functionality of the building.  Glass ribbons crossing the exterior of the building let light into the galleries and offer spectacular views of Central Park and Columbus Circle.  Blond wood floors and high white ceilings with track lighting provide the perfect canvas for the museum's playful offerings.  The entire ground floor is encased in glass, providing a transparent window onto the surrounding streets through the lollipop arches.  At MAD's new home on Columbus Circle art, craft and design come together in objects that offer a modern, whimsical mixture of color, texture, and form. 

The current exhibit could well be a metaphor for the redesign of the building.  Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary takes discarded or everyday objects of no value and transforms them into stunning objects d'art.  Paul Villnski's site-specific installation My Back Pages (2008), displays old 45rpm vinyl records that have been fashioned into beautiful multicolored butterflies using a scroll saw.  They fly out of the wall and an accompanying turntable like a brightly colored frenzy of butterflies in the spring.  Villinski listened to each record before giving it new life in a ceremonial homage to its forthcoming transformation.  In her 2004 piece Frailties, British artist Susie MacMurray takes yellow washing gloves, turns them inside out and stitches them onto calico, creating a majestic six-foot wedding gown that spreads out onto the museum floor.  This clever comment on the traditional female role of the washerwoman seamlessly unites fashion, design and art.  Equally witty is Stuart Haygarth's Spectacle (2006). This towering tiered chandelier made up of 1,020 discarded pairs of prescription glasses offers up a dual visual and linguistic pun and perfectly encapsulates the curator's vision of presenting aesthetically beautiful objects that also comment on their original pre-recycled states. (Through February 15, 2009)

 

Visit: MAD New York, 2 Columbus Circle

Discover: Paul Villinski's art 

 

Tags: new york buildings  architecture  museums

 

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