What now looks like a multi-colored tarp that washed ashore on Roosevelt Island's Southern tip is actually the last remnant of a large scale art event by Ranan Lurie that began within the halls of the United Nations. Think "The Gates" but with flowing banners working their way across the steps and lawns of the UN gardens and then stretching across the waters of the East River culminating on Roosevelt Island.
Unconfirmed rumors have it that the City wants this remnant now removed. Perhaps with "The Encampment" scheduled to be pitched at Southpoint this October it is time to remove the last vestage of the "Uniting Painting".
The following excerpts are from UN Press Release 5978 issued Oct. 28, 2005:
“Connecting the world by art and goodwill is one of the missions of the “Uniting Painting”, a fine art creation by Ranan Lurie, which will open in the United Nations Headquarters Visitors' lobby on 1 November at 6 p.m.
Conceived by Mr Lurie in 1968, it unites an expanding group of countries in one large international exhibit spanning continents. “Mr. Lurie’s epic painting is a glorious attempt to illustrate the human desire for, and our need for, mutual understanding and togetherness, using the common language of art to -- quite literally -- connect people around the globe”, says United Nations Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor, Chairman of the United Nations Exhibits Committee.
At the United Nations, where it can be viewed until the beginning of 2007, the art starts as a motif painted on canvas panels, descending from the ceiling in the Headquarters main Visitors’ Lobby. The same motif glides onto a carpet specially designed by the artist for the large ceremonial stairs. It then reaches the outdoors, via the Canadian doors, continues across the public plaza down the stairs to the promenade, and "flows" into the East River. The “Uniting Painting” then resurfaces at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, before commencing its journey to connect with the rest of the world.”
To see pictures of the Uniting Painting's creator Ranan Lurie and the project as it unfurled follow this LINK.