Translation from English

Monday, October 10, 2011

GE Building

General Electric Building at Rockefeller Center is great example of Art Deco architecture.

From the internet:

By Carter B. Horsley
The world's finest Art Deco commercial complex and best private urban renewal project, Rockefeller Center abounds in good design and craftsmanship and its centerpiece is 30 Rockefeller Plaza, its tallest structure that looms over the famous sunken plaza with its gilded statue of Prometheus, shown above, by Paul Manship.
In his excellent book: "Streetscapes, Tales of Manhattan's Significant Buildings and Landmarks," (Harry N. Abrams, 2003), Christopher Gray devotes a chapter to this statue in which he made the following observations:
"The finished figure had the stylized hair and blank expression of ancient Greek sculpture that was Manship's trademark. But it also had Manship's typical emphasis on lithe movement. Installed in early 1934, the eight-ton bronze sculpture had Prometheus flying almost horizontally, with a clump of fire in his right hand, through streams of water over a zodiacal ring. Edward Alden Jewel, writing in The New York Times, called Prometheus 'a genuine masterpiece, beautiful in its rhythm.' But he acknowledged that another critic, the actor and writer Frank Craven, considered it 'a boudoir knicknack.' Manship's unhindered success inspired detractors who saw in him an upper-class toady irrelevant to the dead-serious modernism of the 1930's....Manship had many reservations about the completed work. He thought he had been hurried by the twelve-month schedule, and the horizontal fighure of Prometheus was not consonant with the verticality of 30 Rockefeller Plaza."
Sometimes artists forget that the first impulse is usually the best and that counterpart is more exciting than context or "boudoir knicknacks."