MTA Arts & Design unveils new mosaic by Diana Cooper on Roosevelt Island
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MTA Arts & Design unveils new mosaic by Diana Cooper on Roosevelt Island
Diana Cooper, Double Take. Photo: P Takeuchi.

NEW YORK, NY.- MTA Arts & Design today announced the installation of a new permanent artwork on Roosevelt Island by Diana Cooper, Double Take. It is located across from the F train subway stop and is part of the East Side Access project that brought Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Madison.

Cooper was initially inspired by the visual experience of traveling through the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel and moving from an artificial underground environment into a world of steel, glass, and stone in Manhattan, with buildings set at different angles and punctuated by blue skies and waterways and the greens and browns of New Jersey.
When she visited the MTA site, Cooper was struck by how similar her experience was to the one subway riders have when they arrive on Roosevelt Island. Riders leave the reflected light of the subway tunnel to scale long metallic escalators and emerge into a building with large glass windows and views of the island greenery and the blue of the East River.

Cooper’s designs consider the geometric forms found in the ventilation building, the Queensboro Bridge, the MTA subway station, Louis Kahn’s FDR Memorial, and the Roosevelt Island Tram, set against the grand backdrop of the East River. The wall designs marry abstract geometric shapes with organic forms, based on photographs she took of the river, as well as hand drawn imagery of fluid forms with colors that evoke the Island’s grass and trees. The gate design refers directly to the building’s louvers but is more colorful, playful, and permeable. Her hope is that people will feel transported smoothly and delightfully from the canyons of the MTA to an island surrounded by a river, with mountains of skyscrapers as backdrop.

“Upon arriving or departing, Roosevelt Islanders and visitors are greeted by Diana Cooper’s colorful mosaic and metal artwork,” said Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts & Design. “It is quite exciting to see the realization of Double Take — and it will do just that, stop you in your tracks for a double take!  One that will make you say, wow.”

Diana Cooper explained, “On first visiting the site I was struck by its visual potential. One emerges from the subway to see sky, a bridge, water, a ventilation structure, and Manhattan behind it all. That’s quite a mix. I wanted to pull all these elements together and somehow capture in a single work the dynamic energy latent in the experience. My aim was to blend the rigid geometric elements with fluid color to capture the play of light on the water especially. It was an exciting project that opened up new avenues in my artistic practice.”

About Diana Cooper

Diana Cooper is a New York-based mixed-media artist whose abstract works are inspired by patterns found in nature and the artificial human environment, which she transforms and translates into her own visual language. A former Rome Prize fellow (2004), Cooper has exhibited at numerous galleries and institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, PS 1/MOMA, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. She has completed several public commissions, including at the Jerome Parker Campus, Staten Island, commissioned by NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Public Art for Public Schools and at the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech. She holds a BA from Harvard and an MFA from Hunter College.

MTA Arts & Design

MTA Arts & Design encourages the use of public transportation by providing visual and performing arts in the metropolitan New York area. The Percent for Art program is one of the largest and most diverse collections of site-specific public art in the world, with more than 350 commissions by world-famous, mid-career and emerging artists. Arts & Design produces Graphic Arts, Digital Art, photographic Lightbox exhibitions, as well as live musical performances in stations through its Music Under New York (MUSIC) program, and the Poetry in Motion program in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America. It serves the millions of people who rely upon MTA subways and commuter trains and strives to create meaningful connections between sites, neighborhoods, and people.

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