Photograph by James Ewing. Courtesy of Art Production Fund.
March 6 – May 6, 2012
46th Street and 8th Avenue
Manhattan Oil Project by Josephine Meckseper is the second installation at The Last Lot project space, presented by Art Production Fund. In Manhattan Oil Project, Meckseper presents two new monumental kinetic sculptures, each standing 25 feet tall. These full scale sculptures are inspired by mid 20th century oil pumps the artist discovered in Electra, a boarded-up town once famous for being the pump jack capital of Texas. The pump jacks recall the ruins of ghost towns, forgotten monuments of America's decaying industrial past. This pairing of the pump jacks and the Times Square location merges a classic symbol of American oil production and wealth with the center of New York City commercial culture.
The oil pump sculptures formally refer to the large-scale kinetic sculptures of Jean Tinguely, Alexander Calder, and Mark Di Suvero. Although they mirror the forms and materials of the mid-century oil industry, Meckseper locates her work firmly inside the contemporary debate about American business, wealth and consumerism. The pumps are intended as ignition points for critical discussion engaged directly with modern life.
The Last Lot is a generous short-term donation to Art Production Fund from The Shubert Organization, and is part of the Times Square Alliance’s public art program that works to bring cutting-edge art to Times Square.
About the Artist
Josephine Meckseper (b. 1964) has developed a practice which melds the aesthetic language of modernism with a profound critique of consumerism In her shop windows, vitrines, installations, photographs, films and magazine projects she draws a direct correlation to the way consumer culture defines and circumvents subjectivity and sublimates the key instruments of individual political agency. Her works have been included in international biennials such as the 2010 Whitney Biennial; the Second Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art (2007); Whitney Biennial: Day for Night (2006); and Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon: Experiencing Duration (2005). She has also had solo exhibitions at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst, Münster; the Blaffer Gallery/Art Museum of the Univeristy of Houston, (2009) and a retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2007). Her work was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New Photography in 2008, Contemplating the Void at the Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2010. A large installation by the artist was included in the Sharjah Biennial 10, Plot for a Biennial (2011).