New York based artist David Hammons (b. 1943) had his proposed public art project approved by the NYS Legislature this week.Day’s End would be located in Hudson River Park along the southern edge of Gansevoort Peninsula, directly across from the Museum.
The project derives its inspiration and name from Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1975 artwork in which he cut five openings into the original Pier 52 shed. Hammons’s artwork would be an open structure that precisely follows the outline, dimensions, and location of the original shed—and like Matta-Clark’s work, it would offer an extraordinary place to experience the waterfront and view the sunset. Affixed to the shore on the south edge of Gansevoort Peninsula, the structure would extend over the water, employing the thinnest possible support system. It would appear evanescent and ethereal, seeming to shimmer and almost disappear, changing with the light of day and atmospheric conditions. Hammons’s Day’s End also alludes to the history of New York’s waterfront—from the heyday of New York’s shipping industry to the reclaimed piers that became a gathering place for the gay community. Open to everyone, the artwork would allow easy access to the river’s edge.
If the proposed work is realized, the Museum will develop a series of programs organized in collaboration with the Whitney Education Community Advisory Network (WECAN), which brings together local residents, teachers, parents, and other community-based organizations. The Whitney will explore and preserve the history of the waterfront, the Gansevoort Peninsula neighborhood, and the Day’s End project through oral-history interviews with longtime neighbors, merchants, artists, community activists, and cultural leaders, the production of a documentary film, and publication and development of interpretive material on site, online, and for mobile use.