New York-based artist Danielle Gottesman has transformed a New York construction site into her latest site-specific exhibition, Elevations. Gottesman’s sculptural work is housed within a clandestine space of 90 Morton, a former publishing house that is being transformed into a high-end residential building. The artist’s series of large wooden sculptures were inspired by the architectural plans of the soon-to-open building, bringing to life the architect’s vision into abstract physical form.
In Elevations, Gottesman transforms lifeless floor plans into life-size, three-dimensional statues with human characteristics. The artist approaches technical and specialized imagery, such as plans and diagrams, with a formalist eye, removing all functionality from the objects. Through the shaping of basswood, the various Elevations take on smooth curves, bends, and organic bone-like forms distilled from the original subjects. Elevations stands at eye-level, adding to the sense of humanity and allowing viewers to appreciate each unique sculpture’s proportions from vantage points throughout the space.
Elevations marks the first collaboration between Gottesman and curator Lolita Cros, whose forté of producing site-specific installations in obscure locations is channeled into 90 Morton Street. The exhibition infuses shadowy lighting schemes, accenting and bouncing off of Gottesman’s wooden sculptures as they rise from their origin like architectural totems in a construction site hidden from public view. Using past stories and the recurring nature of New York as inspiration for her work, Gottesman challenges the way people interpret their surroundings through her perception of the given meaning of space and objects through Elevations and past projects alike.