Park in Bloom(berg)

Park in Bloom(berg)

The cherry blossom trees were in full bloom in Madison Square Park last Wednesday, and so, for that matter, was Mayor Bloomberg. The occasion was a colorful one: The mayor made his appearance (and a few corny jokes about the nice weather) for the unveiling of Brooklyn-based artist Orly Genger's Red, Yellow and Blue, a large-scale art installation that has transformed the Flatiron public space into her very own fantasy canvas (on view thru Sept. 8). Her colossal work alters the landscape of the park in a big way. Towering walls of carefully woven, hand-knotted nautical rope—think: those platic-y coils that look right at home on a wet ship deck next to a trap teeming with lobsters—have been painted and arranged in sloping structures and winding, wavy walls. The color scheme? You guessed it: Red, yellow and blue. Lush patches of grassy green are now flanked by these bright barricades, converting a neighborhood thoroughfare into a child-like dreamscape. Rather than mask or taint the park's natural beauty (and it certainly is beautiful), Genger's installation highlights it. Pink flower petals pop against a bright red rope background; next to a curving, canary-yellow structure, the green lawns look even greener. Confronted with these splashes of bold color, one begins to see the park through open eyes, and remember that—in a very real sense—beauty is all around us. It doesn't take an Art History degree to fully digest Genger's work. In this case, art appreciation is a walk in the park. Literally.

» Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue at Madison Square Park, Madison Ave. & E. 23rd St., thru Sept. 8