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  Hell Gate Maze

Hell Gate Maze
Lawrence Alloway
The Nation, July 7, 1979

Wards Island is a strange landscape. There are views of Manhattan's high urban style across the East River, but in the foreground there are only rank trees and bushes. The colossal piers of the lofty Triborough Bridge stride Piranesi-like across it toward the distant (psychiatric) center, and airplanes cross the Island on their approach path to La Guardia Airport. The big institutional buildings of the state's Manhattan Psychiatric Center on Ward's Island plays host to an exhibition of outdoor sculpture.

Two groups are involved in the out door sculpture. Artists Representing Environmental Art (AREA) and the OIA. AREA, which seems to have come into existence in response to the Psychiatric Hospital's invite, concentrates largely on the waterfront facing NYC. New works here include “Hell Gate Maze” by Carolee Thea, a low lying ring of wooden pilings and rock, and Angelipse,” by Carl Andre, outlined in bales of straw, both clearly visible across the water from the East River are good examples of naturalism of materials, that is to say, the use of materials conformable to the site rather then in contrast to it.

© Copyright 2007. Carolee Thea.