About the Exhibition
British artist Richard Woods's wall and door and roof whimsically transforms various structural elements at City Hall. Cladding the property's two security booths with a printed facade of cartoon-like red bricks, Woods (b.1966, Chester, England) draws on his native vernacular which identifies this design as an inexpensive structural style. The visually dynamic work dramatically juxtaposes the historic architecture of City Hall with ordinary building materials. Woods's faux renovation continues inside City Hall on one of the doors within the lobby. Covering the door in a printed graphic that is a replication of itself, the artist creates an optical illusion. Woods includes all of the ornamental details of the original to produce a heightened and flattened sense of reality.
Richard Woods' wall and door and roof is the Public Art Fund's 20th exhibition at City Hall Park. "We are honored to have the Public Art Fund present another exhibition at City Hall Park to inspire and delight New Yorkers and visitors," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New York City's public art program is part of what makes our cultural scene so vibrant. What better canvas for Richard Woods's wall and door and roof than City Hall itself."
Woods has been re-creating and re-envisioning objects and environments since the late 1990s. Fusing art, architecture, and design, the artist completely transforms structures and spaces. Woods has produced his own visual language of cartoon-like illustrations that exaggerate the formal elements of basic construction materials. Cobblestone, brick, wallpaper, and plywood are converted into graphic drawings that the artist uses to cover surfaces of interiors and exteriors to create vividly different surroundings that merge reality with fantasy.
In a sense, Woods's work is always a riff on something else; a contemporary and theatrical interpretation of something classical or commonplace. His ties to art history are apparent, yet he is not interested in the contemporary notion of art as a precious object. Woods's work allows you to walk on it, touch it, and exist within it.