office space

Avenue of the LEDs: Leo Villareal’s Largest Installation Is Inside a New Durst Office Lobby

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Villareal on Sixth

Sixth Avenue is a haven for corporate art, from Robert Indian’s Love to Curved Cube outside the Time Life Building, to say nothing of the massive galleries spanning the entire block between 51st and 52nd streets inside the UBS Building. The Avenue of the Americas is also home to mostly older office buildings, still very splendid and class A, but many in need of updating. It has become a hub of new elevators and air conditioners and reconfigured lobbies.

At 1133 Sixth Avenue, the Durst Organization is merging these two currents, popular public art and a sparkling new lobby, into a striking whole. The centerpiece of a new Gensler-designed lobby is an installation by light artist Leo Villareal, Volume (Durst). At 90-feet long, 12-feet high and 6-feet deep, the dazzling sculpture is Mr. Villareal’s largest three-dimensional work yet. Floating near the top of the lobby, it not only enlivens the space but the avenue, as well, fully visible through the two-story windows facing out on the plaza between the International Center for Photography on one side and a bank on the other.

“I love the chance encounter,” Mr. Villareal said at an opening reception for the lobby Tuesday night. Read More

artists

Bucky and the Burner: Leo Villareal Is Lighting Up New York and San Francisco With Massive, Glowing, LED-Tube Artworks

Villareal. (Courtesy Patrick McMullan Company)

It’s not unusual for an artist to make good work in very different necks of the cultural landscape—hello, Julian Schnabel—but few do so in areas so mutually inclined to diss each other as Leo Villareal. A rangy New Yorker in his mid-40s whose primary art material is light, Mr. Villareal is on the one hand a well-regarded gallery artist, currently engaged on pieces for Madison Square Park, the Bleecker Street subway stop, the Johnson Museum at Cornell University, and—the whopper—a monumental piece to be installed upon a mile-and-a-half stretch of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. Read More