Although the official launch is not until August 2nd, sculptor Jon Isherwood’s exhibition of eight carved marble flowers, placed on malls at the center of Broadway at major intersections from 64th to 157th Street, is already on view. And it looks just as Isherwood had imagined, he told WSR, in an email about how the exhibit, Broadway Blooms: Jon Isherwood on Broadway, came to be.
“I was invited by Anne Strauss, the art curator for the Broadway Mall Association, to consider the idea of exhibiting on upper Broadway. My art dealer William Morrison also encouraged me to consider the project…. So I took the train into the city and, coming out of the subway onto upper Broadway, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the central medians. The planting was spectacular and in full bloom. My immediate response was I should carve flowers to complement them.”
The eight blossoms are carved out of seven kinds of marble. “I am grateful to the Italian quarries and companies that sponsored the project, and especially thankful to Broadway Mall Association for giving me the opportunity to explore the narratives and ideas that Broadway provokes,” Isherwood wrote to the Rag.
Broadway Blooms was organized by the Broadway Mall Association, in partnership with the NYC Parks Department’s Art in the Parks program, and Morrison Gallery in Kent, Connecticut, with the assistance of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District. It is the 13th sculpture show presented by the Broadway Mall Association since 2005.
The bloom sculptures were supposed to be exhibited in 2020, but, “for more than one year the Covid pandemic delayed their transport from Isherwood’s studio in Italy,” a press release explained. “The delayed “bloom” of the eight marble sculptures now in the form of flowers celebrates the return to life of the city after a long and difficult winter and spring.”
Here is a list of all the sculptures and their locations:
Bloom 1: “The Earth Laughs,” Broadway & 64th Street (Dante Park)
Bloom 2: “A Gift between Two,” Broadway & 72nd Street
Bloom 3: “Live in the Sunshine,” Broadway & 79th Street
Bloom 4: “Given and Received,” Broadway & 96th Street
Bloom 5: “A Chance’s Wish,” Broadway & 103rd Street
Bloom 6: “As Always Yours,” Broadway & 117th Street
Bloom 7: “After Giverny,” Broadway & 148th Street
Bloom 8: “The Gifting Angel,” Broadway & 157th Street (Ilka Tanya Payán Park).
Isherwood’s marble flower sculptures will grace the Broadway malls until Spring 2022.
Interview and photographs by Bobby Panza.