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Fordham

Dan Funderburgh

Eureka, 2016

Aluminum

Eureka is a series of four "rose windows” greeting passengers on the north-bound platform of Metro-North Railroad’s Fordham Station in the Bronx. Reminiscent of the circular centerpiece of many Gothic cathedrals, the artwork depicts the plants and trees of the New York Botanical Garden and references the Gothic details found in the surrounding architecture of Fordham University.

Eureka is the artist’s homage to Edgar Allan Poe’s 1848 essay of the same title. Written in his cottage in the Bronx, in what he called a prose poem, Poe elaborated on his views about the origins of the universe which seem to anticipate the Big Bang theory which came later. The four rose windows are designed to evoke four botanical "big bangs." Succulents, orchids, bonsai, and cactus form and grow ever outward. The plants chosen celebrate the beauty of the terrestrial and reverently pay tribute to the expansive and diverse universe of flora seen at the New York Botanical Garden.

The artwork is fabricated by KC Fabrications. Each of the four windows is composed of two layers of waterjet-cut aluminum in black and gold, recalling the Gothic Revival. Circular frames housing the smaller discs orbiting each large rose window are built into the metal fence. This effect creates a transition from the artwork panels to the rest of the unadorned platform fence. The visual effect is explosive, when seen from a passing on the train or across the platform. Funderburgh references and connects history, architecture and natural beauty in an inventive and imaginative work of public art that transforms the station.

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