Artist: Keren Anavy
Curator: Lauren Powell

May 5 – August 31, 2021
10 TIMES SQUARE | 1441 Broadway, New York, NY 10018

The site-specific multi-media installation I Wish I Had a River by artist Keren Anavy and curated by Lauren Powell creates a painted garden within the confines of the lobby of 10 Times Square. “The Underground Lobby Garden” as the artist calls it, is composed of paintings, drawings, laser cutouts, sculpture forms, and video projection. 

The artificial garden installation honors the original footprint as the city’s once major water source and celebrates the original architectural features of the building. Completed in 1930 as the Bricken Textile Building, the edifice was the center of the bustling garment district, dressed head to toe in Art Deco lines, patterns and adornments. Merely 40 years before its completion, New York’s biggest reservoir and supplier of all of Manhattan’s drinking water in the 19th century was decommissioned and torn down one avenue to the East. This relationship between nature, particularly water, functioning as a cultural agent and an important element of consumerism is of particular importance for Anavy, who grew up in a desert region of conflict, where the resource was always scarce. The artworks are created through a process of dripping ink on submerged Mylar which requires the artist to relinquish control of the pigment to her water substrate for an unpredictable result that only nature can determine. Anavy’s paintings rely on water in the same way as the garden that the installation depicts. Without water, there is no life, This exhibition explores how those two elements intertwine and work together to hold memories, build gardens and shape our cities.