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Rendering of David Hammons’s project, Day’s End. Courtesy of Guy Nordenson and Associates.

Whitney Museum Receives $1 Million for David Hammons’s Hudson River Artwork

The Whitney Museum of American Art has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Keith Haring Foundation in support of a public art project by David Hammons. Titled Day’s End, the work—a 373-foot-long and 50-foot-tall stainless-steel structure—is a tribute to Gordon Matta-Clark’s work of the same name, which involved a series of cutouts that were made into a dilapidated pier shed on the Hudson River in 1975. Hammons’s work will be a metal skeleton of the original pier shed that will appear to float above the river.

The inspiration for Day’s End came about when Hammons visited the Whitney’s new downtown building for the first time. While looking out of the museum’s western windows at the Hudson, the artist recalled Matta-Clark’s site-specific work, which was located across the street from the Whitney. Matta-Clark originally conceived of Day’s End as a “a sun-and-water temple” that would allow light to pour into the decrepit Pier 52. He cut a large semi-circle into one of the pier’s walls. The work only lasted a few years since the building was eventually demolished.

“This generous grant from the Keith Haring Foundation helps propel us toward the realization of an extraordinary vision that David Hammons brought to the Whitney,” said museum director Adam D. Weinberg. “Day’s End is going to be an important and exciting artwork, an amazing addition to the waterfront, to this neighborhood and community, and to the city of New York. We are deeply grateful to the Haring Foundation for recognizing the importance of this project. We couldn’t achieve this without their support.”

Additional funding for the piece has been provided by the city and state of New York, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust, among other donors. The installation is being undertaken in partnership with the Hudson River Park Trust, which will own the work when it is completed. Currently under construction, the piece is expected to be unveiled in September 2020.

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