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Cleft Ridge Arch

Cleft Ridge Arch

Piece description from the artist

Cleft Ridge Arch in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. This is the first concrete arch built in the US and the last of the five arches built in Prospect Park. Due to a recession, they needed to save money and utilized the new béton-Coignet technique of molded, re-enforced concrete. The architects, Olmsted and Vaux, intended the arches in the park to act as portals—transitions between different landscapes of the park. Built in 1871, the contrast provided by the arch between the bright sunny landscape and the dark tunnel would produce a visual effect that was quite impressive at the time. It is almost a precursor to the television, framing the landscape that you then emerge into.

I wanted to paint this scene with an element of how I experience it daily. I first came to learn about it when walking our dog in the park every morning. The arch has been the scene of many eras of NYC culture: at one point folks in top hats and fancy dresses would regularly walk under it, and now it seems city residents frequently walk with their dogs.

The day I painted it was just after a spring rainstorm, adding some delightful light challenges along the floor of the arch.

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18.0" x 24.0"
oil on canvas

Unfortunately, the original of this work is not available. However, one of our friendly Personal Curators can reach out to the artist to see if they’d be interested in a commission. Get in touch.

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