Remembering 9/11

The Artists and their work

Monika Bravo

            September 10, 2011: A Tribute to Michael Richards
            Single channel video with sound
            Date: 2001
On September 10, Ms. Bravo filmed the views from her studio in the World Trade Center.  The seven hours of footage she shot has been condensed into a five-minute document in memory of Michael Richards, an artist who was working in that studio space the following day when the plane collided into the building.  The video, which serves as a document of the day before 9/11, has been shown in over 200 venues throughout the world. 

Bruce Brooks

            “Tree of Blood”
            Medium: oil, alkyd, acrylic, enamel, collage on canvas.  Framed in Spanish moss
            Size: 60”x54”
            Date: 2001
“I was working on "the Tree of Blood" that September 2001. It was the beginning of a group of works that were "Tree" oriented triggered in part by my interest in Bonsai, Newaki and trees as entities in general. When the Trade Center was destroyed my tree colors turned to blood, red, white, and blue appeared and the churning and turbulence combined with my shock. For the first and only time I actually wrote something in the painting: "Tree of Blood," which harped upon my reaction then and now. I think about the work a little the way I think about Goya's "the Third of May," the image and the history are of horror, yet the formal power of the painting lives on today.  Goya's painting in spirit is part of "Tree of Blood" and more importantly, part of the 9/11 murders”.

Lance Cain

            “A Few Days After”
            Experimental short video
It has taken Mr. Cain 10 years to finally edit the footage that he took on that tragic morning.  “Editing my film this year helped me face that horrible day, reliving the sound of the jet engines blasting over my bedroom,” he said.  The film is dedicated to the victims of 9/11 and to the Tribeca neighborhood he once knew, which perished 10 years ago.

Barron Claiborne

            African Project
            Medium: Polaroid photos
            Size: 10 8.5x11
            Date: 1991-2001
"On September 11th 2001 I was in my studio - located at 100 Greenwich Street at Rector Street.  During the collapse of the Twin Towers my studio was filled with debris. The sprinkler system went off and the project I had been working on for several years was covered in the remains of the towers. I was allowed to enter my studio once to gather a few things.  I did what I could to cover the remaining photos. Over the next five months I was not allowed to enter my own studio. When I finally returned FEMA had cleaned my studio and done much damage. I uncovered the large scale Polaroids and was so angry and upset I threw them into a box and didn't open it for nine years  - when I finally did the work in this exhibition was the result."

Cris Cristofaro

            “Silent Calling”
            Medium: Black plastic body bags
            Size: 94”x72”
            Date: September 2011
Mr. Cristofaro uses black plastic body bags that would have held the victims; they hang on the wall vertically mimicking the Towers.  The flaps of the bags are open revealing the vacant space inside—the place for the bodies that never came.  “The sculpture forces us to relive the raw emotions from that day,as we seek closure from this event to help us understand that our city, country and world have changed forever,” he said.

Greg Hilton

            3 WTC/Mosque Omages
            Medium: heat transfers on Lutradur
            Sizes: 48”x64”
            Date: 2001
Mr. Hilton was watching television in his Chambers Street loft when he heard what sounded like a “freight train loaded with dynamite, going 100 miles an hour, hitting a brick wall and blowing up.” On exhibit are  his  beautiful heat transfers of Park 51 and the World Trade Center fused together.

Jean Holabird

            A series of paintings and constructions
            Medium: watercolor
            Size: varied
            Date: over time
On September 11, 2001, Ms. Holabird looked out the window of her apartment located two blocks from the World Trade Center site and watched in disbelief as the Towers collapsed.  On that day and for the next several months, the artist created a collection of watercolor paintings that captured the aftermath of the horrific attack.  On display is a series of watercolors.

William Kelly

            Video: “The Interval”
            Date: 2004
In the 102 minute interval between 8:46 a.m. when the first plane hit the World Trade Center and 10:28 a.m. when the North Tower fell, lower Manhattan existed in a suspended state of uncertainty; we were caught in a limbo between two worlds, between the world that was and the world that would be, between not-knowing and knowing, between presence and absence, between innocence and experience.

The footage shown here was shot by James Vigliano during those 102 minutes and edited by William Kelly in an attempt to evoke that interval’s suspended state of uncertainty, before knowing became inescapable.

Jon Kessler

            “One Hour Photo”
            Medium: Video, mixed media with camera, monitor postcards, lights and motor 
            Size:  Video of original in Hamburg, Germany 39x26x74”
            Date:  2004

In Jon Kessler's One Hour Photo, a sequence of postcards depicting the World Trade Center Towers revolves on a vertical conveyor belt so that at the bottom of its cycle each card brushes against a small stationary camera. The image produced over and over on the nearby monitor as each successive card approaches the camera is an unsteady zoom toward the Towers. Optical obliteration results when the picture finally meets, and thus blocks, the lens. Kessler's blunt evocation of the terrorist's‑eye view trained on a series of tourist‑souvenir images does not sugarcoat the process of information extraction: Unlike our government, he refuses to disavow the intimate relationship between violence and representation. The original sculpture is in Hamburg.  Kessler has provided us with a Hi‑Res video of the piece which like the title of this exhibition gives us the opportunity to look back through his eyes to the future.

Jeffrey Lohn

            “Missing Posters”
            Medium: 59 photographs
            Size: various sizes
            Date: September – December 2001
Days after 9/11, desperate relatives and friends searching for loved ones plastered   “missing” posters on subway entrances, bus stops, hospital facades, storefront windows around Manhattan.  From September 12 to December 1, Mr. Lohn photographed the make shift shrines and spontaneous walls of "Missing" posters as a way to “rescue the images” that were being damaged by weather and time.  On exhibit are 59 of Mr. Lohn’s photographs.

Jon Paul

            “September 11, 2001”
            Medium: oil on canvas
            Size: 26”x88” mounted and unframed
            Date: 2001
A day after the attack, Mr. Paul, a painter, said that through his art he tried to “register the loss in people’s minds and spirits.”  On exhibit is a large 26” x 88” oil on canvas.

Michael Richards

            “Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian”
            Date:  1999   original
            Medium: print on canvas
            Size: 78”x60”
            Date: 2011

            “Are You Down?”
            Date:  2000   original
            Medium:  Print l  on Canvas
            Size: 24” x 96”
            Date:  2011

When the first plane hit the North Tower of the WTC on 9/11, Mr. Richards was working in his 92nd floor studio space on his sculptures “The Tuskegee Airmen.”  He was among the thousands and the only artist to die in the tragedy.  For the prior ten years Michael had been working on his “Tuskegee Airmen Collection.”   Two works from that collection:  “Are You Down?” and his most famous and prophetic work “Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian” are reproduced in this exhibition. 

Robert Selwyn

            WTC under construction
            Medium: oil on canvas
            Size: 26”x29”
            Date: 1996

            Medium: acrylic on panel
            Size: 11”x14”
            Date: 1996

           911 explosion
            Medium: oil on canvas
            Size: 22”x35”
            Date: 2001

           Plane 1  2001  
            Medium: Oil/linen
            Size: 22"x35"
            Date:  2001

            Plane 2
            Medium: Oil/linen
            Size: 22"x35"
            Date:  2001

As a way to personally deal with the horrific events of the day, Mr. Selwyn, who had one of the World Trade Center studios, painted the Towers during the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.  On display are three of his paintings. 

Todd Stone

            “Empty Tub III”
            Medium: oil on linen
            Size: 72”x46”
            Date: 2001

            “Empty Tub IV”
            Medium: oil on linen
            Size: 72”x46”
            Date: 2001

            Medium: watercolor
            Size: 34”x46”
            Date: 2001

            Medium: watercolor
            Size: 34”x46”
            Date: 2001

Mr. Stone was in his Tribeca studio when the first plane slammed into the North Tower six blocks away.  He took his first photo within seconds of the impact, and was drawing and photographing on his rooftop when the South Tower collapsed.  His family was evacuated and returned several days later to a neighborhood he could not recognize.  The exhibition’s series of large paintings “is an elegy to the lives lost that day,” said Mr. Stone.

Serhat Tanyolacar

            “Mutual Dialogue” sculpted jubbahs in the form of Rodin’s Kiss
            Medium: printed fabric
            Size: 4’5” width x 6” length
            Date: 2001
Mr. Tanyolacar has transformed two traditional Islamic garments called jubbah into one single freestanding sculpture. One of the jubbahs will be screen printed with the American flag and one with New York Times articles about 9/11, American Muslims and the Park 51 mosque.  “Whether Muslim or Christian, Jewish or atheist, regardless of their cultural, ethnic and religious background,” said Mr. Tanyolacar, “the people living in America are the bound pieces of a collective consciousness that shapes the American Dream.” 

The artists are showing other works in major exhibitions abroad, and in New York venues including the 48th floor of the newly completed 7 World Trade Center.