Photos courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery
Starting September 20th, New York’s David Zwirner Gallery will display an impressive map of Manhattan carved entirely out of marble. Little Manhattan is the work of Japanese artist and trained architect Yutaka Sone.
Replicating details of the city from photographs, Google Earth shots, and numerous trips on a helicopter, Sone has created a monolithic sculpture that offers an interesting new view of the iconic island. New York’s central borough so often appears flat in our minds, conquered by a grid system, and covered with buildings (save for the conspicuously rectangular light green plot that signifies Central Park).
Sone’s Little Manhattan is highly sculptural. It rises from the ground like a genuine geological mass, reminding us that Manhattan is not an abstract image on a subway map or an isolated strip floating on the Atlantic. Chiseled out of white marble, Manhattan’s buildings and infrastructure appear like crystalline rock formations, almost invisible to the eye from a distance. They are miniscule components of a larger, more permanent whole. Portrayed in this way, Manhattan is grounded again.
Nonetheless, Sone’s carved marble block gives a nod to the lofty art and architecture of antiquity. This little Manhattan is a singular place, the symbol of a city that is truly a work of art.