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Large scale steel sculptures by Jonathan Prince at The Sculpture Garden at 590 Madison Avenue
Torn Steel exploits the interruption of pure geometric form. Photo: Courtesy Cynthia Reeves.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Sculpture Garden at 590 Madison Avenue is presenting Jonathan Prince: Torn Steel, the first public installation of the artist's large scale steel sculptures in New York, on view at the atrium of 590 Madison Avenue from September 15 - November 18, 2011.

Jonathan Prince follows a long line of distinguished artists—Murakami, Calder, Chamberlain, Oldenburg and Judd – to take advantage of the unique surround afforded by the 590 Madison Avenue Atrium in New York. Its vast scale is a perfect site for Prince’s large format works, a series that has been in development over two years at the artist’s studio in western Massachusetts.

TORN STEEL exploits the interruption of pure geometric form. The skin of the steel sculpture is ruptured, allowing Prince to introduce a wholly different surface, imbuing the work with a dynamic quality of evolving, of genesis. His intelligent use of the steel is key to the visual success of these works: the rusted steel form is incised to introduce an interplay of surface texture and patina that connotes an improbable plasticity of the material.

Known for his work in African and Cambrian black granite, Prince has, over the last two years, broadened his visual inquiry through a vanguard technique of “tearing steel.” He begins by reducing the steel to its most elemental state: the more basic the shape, in his words, “the more past and future are indistinguishable.” Then Prince “breaks” or “tears” the surface. This fracturing includes blacksmithing techniques -- forging and hammering the stainless steel plates -- to form a base layer. Prince then applies additional molten steel to build the surface of the “torn” architecture. The tears are laboriously hand-worked and polished. The undulating and softly reflective new steel lies in stark contrast to the un-worked, oxidized metal, positing a narrative of a form still in evolution. Prince referred to his prior series as "Fragments -- strong geometric shapes in highly polished black granite, many of which with exaggerated broken edges. His interest in creating forms that evoke both the archaic and the contemporary continues in this current work. An example of Prince’s black granite sculpture, “Light Box,” is on permanent view in the lobby of the former IBM Building at 590 Madison Avenue, as part of the Julie and Edward J. Minskoff collection.

Jonathan Prince returned to his passion for sculpture in 2004 after having had a distinguished and diverse professional career in the arts and sciences. After completing his doctoral degree at Columbia University and postdoctoral studies at the University of Southern California, he produced feature films and directed numerous computer animated special effects projects. He has been involved in several large-scale technology and art installations at such renowned venues as the Smithsonian Institution, and holds numerous design patents for his developments in optical engineering. Prince describes his full-time focus on sculpture as a turning point in his life. According to critic Alexandra Anderson-Spivy, Prince’s return to the studio has produced “a mature body of work, refined in concept and fearless in execution.”

CYNTHIA-REEVES has sponsored this compelling new series of sculptures by Prince, as part of an on-going program of off-site exhibitions in New York and elsewhere. As a way of expanding the gallery model, CYNTHIAREEVES initiates innovative projects that provide the gallery the opportunity to curate significant exhibitions, focus on specific and timely issues, and spotlight artists’ works.

The Sculpture Garden at 590 Madison Avenue is an indoor exhibition space for monumental works of art, open to the public daily from 8 a.m. To 10 p.m. The Sculpture Garden is located in the 10,00 square foot ground-level atrium of the former IBM Building at the corner of Fifty-sixth Street and Madison Avenue in New York City. This is the 15th year of exhibitions in the atrium.

Madison Avenue | Jonathan Prince |

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