Martin Creed’s New Sculpture for BBP Bringing Message of “Understanding”

Words by Elena Scarpa
April 6, 2016

Public Art Fund has announced “Understanding”, an exhibition featuring a new 25-foot-tall rotating ruby red neon sculpture by British artist Martin Creed commissioned specifically for Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6.

Work No. 2630, UNDERSTANDING (2016) is Creed’s largest public sculpture to date.

“Martin Creed is a poet of the everyday,” said Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume. “His art confronts us with things we think we already know – inviting us to look at them afresh. ‘Understanding’ is a simple word with complex meanings; we might, for example, show understanding on an emotional level, even while not understanding what somebody has said or done. In this luminous and dynamic sculptural form, the word is isolated, monumental, and continually moving. Both literally and figuratively, Creed offers us a new vantage point to see the world. But is this a celebration of understanding or a challenge to us to understand more? Either way, Martin Creed’s disarming eloquence captures our imagination.”

Defined by red neon lights, the word ‘understanding’ is formed from individual steel letters and supported by an industrial I-beam mounted to a post and rotating on a central axis. The beam will spin at varying speeds, sometimes moving slowly and other times at a faster pace; the rhythm will be determined by a computerized program designed by Creed. The post stands in the center of a stepped base reminiscent of a ziggurat that will act as seating for park visitors.

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