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THE HIGH WINDOWS: DOROTHEA ROCKBURNE'S SKYSCAPES

DOROTHEA ROCKBURNE’S NEW MURALS in the Sky Lobby of Philip Johnson’s famous “Chippendale” skyscraper on Madison Avenue are like suns you can look into without being blinded. Theirs is a warm, restorative light. Confronting each other on the north and south walls of the lobby, these colossal orbs of red and yellow mist, shot through with whizzing lines of primary color, looping this way and that, abruptly ending and then shooting off in new directions, appear to rotate in their 30-foot-square fields. Intergalactic speed and micro- and macroscopic dimensions normally unavailable to the naked eye are somehow suggested by the venerable means of fresco secco and by Rockburne’s penchant for mathematically derived arabesques. According to an accompanying brochure, “The various curves were generated in situ to indicate the energy of the electro-magnetic field as it exists in the Northern and

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