Last chance to see Mildred Howard’s Glass House in Battery Park City


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This public work on home and migration culminates on April 16 with a celebration featuring an artist talk and performances by poet Quincy Troupe and saxophonist David Murray.

Installation view of Mildred Howard’s “The House That Shall Pass For No Color But Its Own”, 2021 (image courtesy of Will Dintenfass Photography)

Closing this week, “The House That Shall Pass For No Color But Its Own” is a place conjured up by Berkeley-based artist Mildred Howard’s deep reservoir of memories, historical research and imagination. Using her knowledge of physics, she constructed the house of glass and steel from everyday materials, creating a deceptively simple structure with large open spaces. Spectators are invited to enter through two doors, one of which offers a view of the Statue of Liberty. Unexpected voids throughout the house aim to illustrate alternative definitions to our assumptions, in the hope that viewers will be inspired to challenge the status quo.

While the artwork may appear to be a solid, low-profile building among the skyscrapers, closer observation reveals that it appears to be floating above the ground. Due to ever-changing ambient natural light, weather conditions, and viewer perspectives as they move through the building, it never maintains a single hue. As the colors shift fluidly from soft purple-red to golden magenta to blackish-violet, “The House” reveals a range acquired from intricate mixing, resulting in a remarkably conditional and beautifully imprecise hue.

A free public celebration will be held Friday, April 16 from 4-6 p.m. at Belvedere Plaza (just north of the North Cove Marina) to mark the end of the artwork’s stay in Battery Park City in Manhattan. It will feature a conversation with Mildred Howard and Battery Park City Authority’s Director of Community Partnerships and Public Art, Abigail Ehrlich. The poet and author Quincy Troupe will present a reading and dedication of his new collection of poetry, Duende: Poems, 1966 to today. Saxophonist David Murray & Class Struggle will perform live jazz.

To learn more, watch this video on “The House” and visit bpca.ny.gov.

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