Harold Ancart: Public Art Fund Talks

Thursday, May 9, 2019, 6:30 - 8pm

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Harold Ancart, Untitled, 2018, Oil stick on plywood, pedestal.  17 1/4 x 24 x 36 inches (44 x 61 x 91.5 cm)

Harold Ancart, Untitled, 2018, Oil stick on plywood, pedestal. 17 1/4 x 24 x 36 inches (44 x 61 x 91.5 cm)

A leading voice of his generation, Brooklyn-based, Belgian-born artist Harold Ancart has become known for expressive works that blur the line between sculpture, painting, and drawing, and feature gestural marks that live somewhere between abstraction and representation. On May 9, the artist will give a rare public lecture to accompany his first public art commission in the United States, Subliminal Standard, presented by Public Art Fund at Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn May 1, 2019 – March 1, 2020. Ancart’s talk will address his general practice, as well as the expansion of his work into the public realm.

Registration is required.

Subliminal Standard is a new commission inspired by New York City’s ubiquitous handball courts, which have fascinated Ancart for years because of their unexpected relationship to the history of abstraction. For this exhibition, Ancart has constructed a large scale painted concrete sculpture and will paint the walls and floor in a site-responsive composition that will reference the court’s playable boundary lines as well as the inadvertent abstract compositions created when other courts throughout the city are repaired and repainted to mask graffiti and weathering over time. Popularized by early 20th century immigrants to the United States, handball is among the most democratic sports, requiring nothing more than a small ball and a wall to play. The handball court is also the only type of playground that offers a freestanding double-sided wall which, according to the artist, “offers a unique possibility to show painting in a public space.” Ancart’s immersive sculpture will create a place for interaction, while bringing to light the ever-present painterly qualities that inherently exist in the structure of the handball court.

About the Talks

Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series feature internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.

Public Art Fund Talks are presented in partnership with The Cooper Union

Public Art Fund Talks are made possible in part by Con Edison and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.