Chuck Close to Create Art for New York’s Second Avenue Subway Line


New Yorkers don’t hear much news about progress on the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway (SAS), which has only been in the works for 75 years and was most recently resumed in 2007 — although we hear it’s no fun living east of Third Ave. on the Upper East Side these days. But there have been a few updates trickling out about the art we’ll eventually see in the stations. In last week’s New Yorker profile of Sarah Sze, Andrea K. Scott described the artist’s contribution to the line’s 96th Street station as “blueprint-like compositions — in a palette of violet, light blue, and dark blue — [that] depicted a floating world of hundreds of objects, from ladders and potted plants to office chairs.” Now, we’ve learned that Chuck Close has also been commissioned to create work for the SAS; the MTA’s Art for Transits program will pay him $1 million to make 12 pieces for the 86th Street station. According to the local news site DNAinfo, a total of $5 million has been allocated to adorning the new line’s first few stations. Artist Jean Shin — who might be best known for this awesome wave sculpture made of vinyl records — is also onboard, with plans for a site-specific piece at 63rd Street. The first phase of SAS construction is slated for completion in December 2016, so we won’t get too excited about Sze, Close, and Shin’s public art, because we’ll have to wait at least four and a half years to see it.