Like fiery sunbursts radiating above the landscape, Ana María Hernando’s new installation in Madison Square Park adds a bright, summery buoyancy to the drab winter environment. Titled “To Let the Sky Know / Dejar que el cielo sepa,” the public work comprises 15 fluffy bunches of tulle atop steel posts, appearing to float like colorful clouds across the lawn.
Another piece, “A Spring of Wild Kindnesses/Un manantial de bondades agrestes,” stands nearby, with its soft, cascading textiles in pale pinks and purples reminiscent of spring flowers. When New York City finally broke its 701-day streak of minimal winter precipitation earlier this month, a thin layer of snow blanketed the works.
Tulle figures prominently in Hernando’s practice. Associated with ballet tutus and wedding gowns, the thin textile was historically used to hide women’s bodies under puffy skirts or veils. By highlighting the often-concealed material in a public space, Hernando subverts traditions of women’s work, fashion, and modesty.
The installations are on view as part of Madison Square Park Conservancy’s art program through March 17 and are the first of four projects slated for 2024. Hernando is also participating in a panel discussion and embroidery workshop in conjunction with the installation in February. Follow Hernando’s work on Instagram.
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