Photo credit: Michael Hnatov
Accession Number: C.2019.78.1
Dimensions: 25 in X 25 in X 1 3/8"
Dimensions (Metric): 63.5 cm X 63.5 cm X 2.54 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the artist, Ken Rush
The World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge
Oil on Masonite painting titled The World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge (1971) by Ken Rush (b. 1948). The painting depicts the top of the Brooklyn Bridge in the lower left corner with the tops of the World Trade Center Twin Towers to the Bridge's right. The towers are nearly fully constructed. The rest of the painting is a vast unobstructed blue sky.
Artist Ken Rush had always been captivated by the architectural monumentality of New York’s skyline since he was a boy growing up in Westchester County, New York. Born in 1948, Rush would make frequent excursions to Manhattan throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including trips with his father to work. When he was a young teenager he discovered his love of painting as a student at the Taft School in Connecticut. By 1971, he had graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in fine arts and relocated to Brooklyn on a painting fellowship he’d received during college.
During this time, he began his “sky paintings” series, which included the World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge. The painting captures only the upper floors of the newly erected Twin Towers, a portion of the Brooklyn Bridge, and a vast blue sky. Rush omitted the rest of the built skyline, channeling an admiration for minimalism acquired in college. He says he viewed the towers as “minimalist sculptures” and “profound cubes that occupied space.”