Subway Station Art: Lexington Avenue/53rd Street Station

For those interested in abstract art, the Lexington Avenue/53rd Street subway station offers a real treat: mosaic murals created by Brooklyn-born artist Al Held. Titled “Passing Through,” what makes this art even more special is that it was one of Held’s last works, designed in 2004 but actually finished after his death in 2005.

img_3916

The MTA Arts & Design website contains the following description of “Passing Through”:

The colorful and exuberant mural reveals an immense universe in which geometric elements of varying shapes and sizes float freely. In the 1960s, Held moved from abstraction to tightly controlled geometric work, with two-dimensional figures suspended on the canvas. Held was curious about how everything is structured and was inspired by theories about the universe and its mysteries. He described his interest in “images that we believe in but that are beyond our senses and that we can never experience directly.” There is also another subject, that of buildings and architecture. His imagery powerfully evokes New York City’s contemporary energy while acknowledging the forms and styles of the Midtown skyscrapers overhead.

The mosaics are colorful, brightening up a corridor that otherwise would seem dull and dreary. The undulating walls upon which the glass mosaic tiles are fixed really add to the visual effect.

img_3918

img_3917

img_3911

img_3909

img_3907

Want to view “Passing Through” for yourself? Take the E or M train to the Lexington Avenue/53rd Street station, and follow the signs towards the Lexington Avenue exit. (If you exit towards Third Avenue, you will miss the mosaics.) You will know you are headed in the right direction if the signs also show that you are headed towards the 6 train. The mosaics are located on the mezzanine level. If you are traveling on the 6 train, get off at the 51st Avenue station. That station connects underground to the Lexington Avenue/53rd Street station.

18 thoughts on “Subway Station Art: Lexington Avenue/53rd Street Station

  1. A lovely accompaniment to a train ride – all those relaxing curves, and beautiful colours. I appreciate the way you offer quotes rather than links – you’ve done the work of culling what’s significant. I’ll be including images from Warsaw Metro stations when I get round to it – they feature letters, rather than pictures, so I’ll be referencing the font man from Horowitz.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s