As daylight grows shorter this winter, Madison Square Park’s central Oval Lawn will be blanketed by a small blizzard of incandescent light when the Austrian-born artist Erwin Redl installs his public art work Whiteout (13 November-18 April 2018). Commissioned by the park’s non-profit group Mad Sq Arts, the installation will be made up of hundreds of white spheres embedded with LED lights and suspended from steel poles. The projects aims to evoke “the phenomenon of a whiteout that, in nature, disorients the viewer by compromising our perception”, Redl told The Art Newspaper.
The installation will stretch across around one-third of the lawn, which is closed during the autumn and winter months, and will be visible from the pathways of the park. The swaying spheres, arranged 46 inches apart and 2 feet off the ground in a grid of squares, will sway in the wind as well as dim and glow in a programmed pattern, to create “abstract animations”, Redl says. The artist is known for his encompassing light works and lit up the façade of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Breuer building for its 2002 Whitney Biennial. “The most important parameter of all my installations is site specificity—this project creates a new hybrid reality for this urban setting,” Redl says.