New York

Owen Morrel

Ted Greenwald Gallery

Imagine a monumental, futuristic steel crossbow mounted above a staircase that seems to have come from either a lighthouse or a ship. There’s no platform at the top of the staircase, so one is left to surmise its purpose. Are we helmsmen standing watch on a surrogate bridge? Or astronomers who no longer know how to use a telescope? The staircase and beams supporting the crossbow rise out of a large boulder, which emphasizes the isolation one feels while climbing up. It makes one more aware of being separated from terra firma.

Owen Morrel has been influenced by Robert Smithson in his metaphysical streak, but he has transformed Smithson’s provocative ideas into something personal. Pilot Bridge, 1984, is no mannerist rehash. Unlike Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, 1970, it is made of steel, and can be transported; in this instance it was installed on a traffic island in downtown Manhattan. Smithson

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