NEW YORK – Following the huge artistic and economic success of "The Gates," the city is sponsoring another massive exhibition that would bring four giant waterfalls to the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Scandinavian artist Olafur Eliasson was commissioned to build "New York City Waterfalls" at four locations in the river near the southern tip of Manhattan, including at the Brooklyn base of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.
The project will require erecting scaffolding between 90 and 120 feet high in the water, then using pumps to force water to the top, where it will fall back into the river. The city said fish and aquatic life would be protected through intake pools in the river that would filter the water.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was expected to officially announce the project on Tuesday. It was first reported Monday in The New York Sun.
Eliasson's project would come three years after the Bulgarian artist Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, erected 7,503 door frames or "gates" draped with orange fabric along 23 miles of Central Park footpaths. It drew an estimated 4 million visitors to the park, including 1.5 million out-of-towners, between Feb. 12-27, 2005, and pumped $254 million into the city economy.
The city estimates the waterfall project this summer will contribute more than $50 million to the economy.
Eliasson, born in Denmark to Icelandic parents in 1967, is known for work that uses elements of nature to evoke sensory experiences.
Among his pieces are "The weather project" at the Tate Modern in London, which used lights, reflection and mist to evoke the sun and sky. He is also the subject of a retrospective opening at the Museum of Modern Art in April.
His work has been seen in galleries and institutions around the world, and at major art events like the Venice Biennale.
The project was commissioned by the Public Art Fund, a nonprofit organization that has placed art in public locations all over the city. It raised private funds to pay for it.
It will be on display from mid-July to mid-October, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, and illuminated after sunset.
The waterfalls will be visible from land and boat, and the city will have a Web site with recommended viewing sites and bike routes.