Agnes Denes: A Gift to New York

image by Rui Aguiar

A substantial climate change project in the Rockaway will represent Agnes Denes’s Gift to New York City, her home for more than 50 years. It will also stand as a special gift to the people of the Rockaway who hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Thinking about such a gift from Denes here in our country, right now, when we face increasing crises over global warming, a time more than 20 years ago comes to mind. Then the world was undergoing a heightened awareness of the perils of climate change. It was the early 1990s; inspired by a talk Denes gave at the landmark UN conference in Rio in 1992, aka the Earth Summit, the President of Finland invited her to create a climate change work in his country. The monumental Tree Mountain (1992-1996) was her response.

Denes’s work in the Rockaway is crucial in its timeliness as we face escalating dangers and disasters. Large in scale and built from the land, it will remind us that we can no longer contribute to be destroyers of nature but must embrace our role as her caretakers, if we are to survive.




Curator Regina Cornwell conceived and is organizing inClimate under the auspices of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.