The New York Times is a raging inferno of art world scoops tonight with the paper’s City Room blog revealing the High Line’s ambitions to install Jeff Koons’s Train over the former railroad tracks that have become a central draw to Manhattan and essential to the revival of the Meat Packing District, including the future site of the Whitney Museum:
Mr. Hammond said that Friends of the High Line had long sought to highlight the park’s rail history. Once before, in 2008, the group considered the “Train” sculpture for a plaza at 10th Avenue and 18th Street, but the work was too big to fit there.
Though the Train has been a running topic for LACMA for several years now, Robert Hammond and Joshua David—the High Line’s founders and presiding spirits—have been stoked for the sculpture as a trophy project:
“We’ve had a crush on the ‘Train’ for a while now,” Mr. Hammond said in a phone interview on Monday. “To me, it looks very industrial and sculptural. The craftsmanship that went into these industrial engines is quite beautiful.”
The sculpture, to be constructed of steel and carbon fiber, would weigh several tons. It would also occasionally spin its wheels, blow a horn and emit steam.
In a statement, Mr. Koons said, “The power and the dynamic of the ‘Train’ represents the ephemeral energy that runs through the city every day.”
The one major obstacle is money. Friends of the High Line is focusing its energy on raising tens of millions of dollars to complete the third and final leg of the park. The last half-mile section, which hugs the West Side rail yards, runs west to 12th Avenue from 30th Street and 10th Avenue, and then continues north to 34th Street.
Mr. Hammond said he hoped that a donor would step forward to sponsor the entire artwork, which could either hang permanently or for several years.
High Line May Mix Past with Koons’s Vision (City Room/New York Times)