Anton van Dalen
Work & Nature, 1997
Porcelain enamel frieze on mezzanine walls
Work & Nature was inspired by the artist's interest in the Nevins Street station and its aesthetic history. The artwork consists of porcelain enamel steel plates that use the same soft blue, green, and ochre tones as in the original mosaics, which are detailed with stenciled silhouettes printed in black - a woman operates a sewing machine, an architect reads a blueprint, a mother looks after a child, a man plants a tree, famed blues singer Furry Lewis plays the guitar, and a woman addresses a meeting. The historic mosaic patterns that ran along the station's walls were water damaged and on the brink of permanent loss. Moved by the mosaics' plight, Anton van Dalen decided to preserve "the station's olden elegance and grand beauty" and, at the same time, to create a tribute to the people who use the station. For the artist, these figures symbolize "the pride, dignity, and beauty surrounding all work."
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