An abstract sculpture from artist Frank Stella is now on display at 7 World Trade Center in the Financial District. Titled “Jasper’s Split Star,” the sculpture is located within the Silverstein Family Park between West Broadway and Greenwich Street, a location that was previously occupied by Jeff Koons’ signature “Balloon Flower (Red).”
For decades, Silverstein Properties has endorsed the installation of public artworks at their commercial properties in New York City. This latest installation, a metal-clad starburst sculpture, was inspired by “Jasper’s Dilemma,” a painting Stella completed in 1962 as a tribute to fellow artist Jasper John. Six of the star’s sides are solid aluminum, and six remain open to reveal shades of blue, purple, and gray.
“Jasper Johns often played a grayscale against an obvious chromatic scale of red, orange, yellow, green, and blue,” said Frank Stella. “For the most part, it was on a two-dimensional surface. It was hard not to think of transposing that kind of dynamic into three dimensions. So the split star came rather naturally into being as a play of Jasper’s early paintings.”
When Larry Silverstein, chairman of Silverstein Properties, opened the original 7 World Trade Center in 1987, he and his wife spent several years filling the lobby with contemporary artwork. Installations included “The Third Circle” by Al Held, a Roy Lichtenstein entablature, “Cloud” by Louise Nevelson, “Crusading Euphoria” by Ross Bleckner, and two large paintings by Frank Stella, among others.
When Silverstein Properties opened the new 7 World Trade Center in 2006, Silverstein collaborated with Jamie Carpenter and architect David Childs on the building’s stainless steel façade, as well as the presentation of art in the lobby. This includes Jenny Holzer’s “For World Trade,” a collection of poetry written by 826 students that is displayed in shifting LED lights. Additional artwork includes two metal sculptures by Kenneth Snelson, two large paintings by Ran Ortner, and a curated selection of work from acclaimed artists.
“Art has always played a big role in my personal and professional life,” said Silverstein. “It adds an exciting dimension to our lives and everything we do. It expands our thinking and offers a glimpse into the creative minds of the artists. I am thrilled to bring this stunning piece by Frank Stella to the World Trade Center so that downtown’s workers, residents, and visitors can enjoy it.”In continuation of Larry Silverstein’s legacy, his grandson Cory Silverstein recently launched Silver Arts Projects, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting emerging artists. Founded in partnership with Joshua Pulman, the non-profit offers a rotating selection of 25 young artists with premier studio space on the 28th floor of 4 World Trade Center.