Two Trees Management Co. is pleased to announce the unveiling of acclaimed artist Deborah Kass’ first monumental sculpture OY/YO in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s newly-renovated Main Street lawn this November. Commissioned by Two Trees and presented in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park, the work will be on view through August 2016 and is presented on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition No Kidding opening at Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea December 9, 2015.
Walking the line between respectful homage and brazen appropriation, Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass mimics and reworks the signature styles of iconic 20th century male artists —including Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Indiana – often with a feminist twist. OY/YO is sourced from urban and Brooklyn slang, the statement “I am” in Spanish, and the popular Yiddish expression, as a riff on Ruscha’s iconic word paintings.
OY/YO has been a significant and reoccurring motif in Kass’ work since its first appearance in 2011, taking form in paintings, prints, and tabletop sculptures. For the Two Trees Public Art commission in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a monumental scaled OY/YO will be presented in yellow painted aluminum measuring 8 x 17 x 5 ft.
“Just in time for the holidays, three of New York City’s greatest communities come together in peace, love, and OY,” said Deborah Kass.
Set alongside the iconic bridges of Brooklyn’s waterfront and visible to viewers from Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street lawn is an apt location for a monumental installation of OY/YO. Similar to the City of New York’s “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!” sign at the Williamsburg Bridge and the “Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit” sign on the BQE, OY/YO references Brooklyn’s ethnic communities with whimsy and warmth.
“Two Trees is thrilled to bring the extraordinary Deborah Kass’ OY/YO to DUMBO for residents and visitors here and across the river to enjoy,” said Lisa Kim, Two Trees Management’s Cultural Affairs Director. “Art can be found throughout the neighborhood - from gallery exhibits to murals, and OY/YO will be a stunning addition to the waterfront.“ For more information about DUMBO’s art scene, visit artindumbo.com.
“We are thrilled to welcome OY/YO to the newest section of Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Regina Myer, Brooklyn Bridge Park President. “Not only will this installation enhance the park experience but it will also be a wonderful addition to DUMBO’s vibrant art scene. We know that park visitors will enjoy it for the months ahead.”
Paul Kasmin Gallery Exhibition
Deborah Kass: No Kidding at 515 W 27th Street in Chelsea, December 9, 2015 – January 23, 2016
Mounted on fields of primarily black and blue, Deborah Kass’ new paintings incorporate neon lights for the first time, limiting her signature palette, to spell out puns and phrases bearing pop cultural references that provide a somber meditation on the troubling present, and uncertain future.
The exhibition features Kass’ mixed media paintings and represents the artist’s fourth body of work that deals at the intersection of popular culture, contemporary art, art history, and politics. An extension of her feel good paintings for feel bad times, Kass’ most recent body of work sets a darker, tougher tone as she reflects on contemporary issues such as global warming, institutional racism, police brutality, gun violence, and attacks on women’s health, through the lens of minimalism and grief. Kass’ paintings often borrow their titles from song lyrics, such as, Just A Shot Away, 2014, which takes its name from the Rolling Stones’ 1969 song - “Gimme Shelter,” that was written in response to the violence of that time. Consistently laden with ambiguity, this work, along with others in the series, references a range of current social, political, and environmental tipping points.
About the Artist
Deborah Kass employs the visual motifs of post-war paintings to explore the intersection of politics, popular culture, art history and personal identity. Her celebrated series, The Warhol Project, from the early 1990’s refocused Andy Warhol’s eye for celebrity portraiture. Her work incorporates lyrics from Broadway musicals, movie quotations into canonical formats like Frank Stella’s concentric squares, Ellsworth Kelly’s rainbow spectrum and Andy Warhol’s camouflage patterns.
Kass’ work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Jewish Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The New Orleans Museum of Art, and the National Portrait Gallery, among others.
Recent group shows include “Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze” at the National Portrait Gallery, “Come Together Sandy,” Industry City, Brooklyn, 2013, “I, You, We” at the Whitney Museum of American art, 2013, and “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012.
Recent solo exhibitions include “feel good paintings for feel bad times,” “MORE feel good paintings for feel bad times” and “My Elvis+” at Paul Kasmin Gallery. In 2012, The Andy Warhol Museum presented “Deborah Kass: Before and Happily Ever After, a Mid-Career Retrospective.” Her historical series from 1998 “America’s Most Wanted” had its first ever viewing in New York at Sargent’s Daughters in May 2015. Paul Kasmin Gallery will present a new body of work “Deborah Kass: No Kidding” in December 2015.
In 2014, Kass was inducted into the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Hall of Fame. She is a member of the Board of the Andy Warhol Foundation and is Senior Critic of the Yale University MFA Painting Program.
Two Trees Public Art
Two Trees seeks to enliven public space in the communities where we live and work. Through the installation of diverse public artworks, Two Trees celebrates creativity, invests in art as a civic resource, and brings contemporary art to a wide audience.
About Two Trees
Since its founding in 1968, Two Trees Management Company, a New York-based real estate development firm, has owned, managed and developed a portfolio worth more than $3 billion in real estate, including more than 6,000 apartments and over 3 million square feet of office and retail space. Two Trees currently owns more than 4 million square feet of commercial, industrial, and residential real estate throughout the United States with the majority of its properties located in New York City and employs 175 people to develop and manage its properties.