The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Arts for Transit program today announced the unveiling of a new installation designed by the artist Jacob Lawrence at the Times Square subway station.
The unveiling of "New York in Transit," a glass mosaic mural designed by Mr. Lawrence for the Times Square subway station, coincides with the Whitney Museum of American Art's opening of the most extensive retrospective of Lawrence's work ever presented. His dramatic Times Square mosaic pays tribute to the diversity and strength of New York City - its neighborhoods, cultural life, recreational pleasures, love of sports and, of course, its subway system.
The enormous 6' (H) x 36' (W) mural is the centerpiece of the new elliptical BMT (N, R, Q, and W lines) mezzanine at 42nd Street. It is located between the Southeast and Southwest entrances to the Times Square subway station, at 42nd Street and Broadway.
"The MTA salutes Jacob Lawrence with the unveiling of his work in the Times Square subway station," said MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow. "This great American artist captured the pulse of the City in his mural. It is an amazing gift to our customers, who will now get to see his work every day - hopefully on their way to see more art in New York City's great museums."
Originally commissioned in 1990 to create a mural for an area within the Times Square station, Mr. Lawrence supplied a maquette of the current piece, which was created in 1997. The maquette will be displayed at the Whitney during the exhibition. Mr. Lawrence died last year. However, MTA Arts for Transit worked closely with his widow, Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, also an artist, and Miotto Mosaics, Inc., New York, to ensure the integrity of his vision.
The installation, which was Mr. Lawrence's last public work, is part of the ongoing renovations at the Times Square subway station complex under the MTA Capital Program. MTA Arts for Transit encourages the use of public transit by presenting visual and performing arts projects in subway and commuter rail stations.
The Jacob Lawrence retrospective at the Whitney will be on view from November 8, 2001 to February 3, 2002.