New York

Sculpture Garden

Ward’s Island

Ward’s Island, in addition to being home of the Manhattan Psychiatric Center, is where a population of homeless men hang their hats, and it is a grim, ugly, dramatic mess of a place. A de Chirico– style metaphysical mood pervades it, a mood supplied by the huge, viaduct-shaped, concrete ramp of the Triboro Bridge, which slices into the island’s eastern shore at an almost inconceivably nasty angle (with traffic creating the music of ten thousand buzzards); given focus by the mute, monolithic buildings; and given meaning by the isolate human figures wandering down paths—many with a perpetual, quick-glance-over-the-shoulder tic of (dare I say it) paranoia. Ward’s Island, of course, is also home to “the largest outdoor exhibition site in New York City.”

In a New Yorker profile (August 30, 1982) by Lawrence Weschler, Knud Jensen, the subject of the piece and director of the Louisiana Museum in

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1982 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.