Rockaway! by Katharina Grosse. Image courtesy the artist and MoMA PS1.

Rockaway! by Katharina Grosse. Image courtesy the artist and MoMA PS1.


July 3 – November, 2016

Featuring Site-Specific Installation by Katharina Grosse

Gateway National Recreation Area at Fort Tilden, New York

July 1, 2016, NEW YORK—MoMA PS1 presents Rockaway!, a site-specific outdoor installation by artist Katharina Grosse (Germany, b. 1961). Reflecting the bold colors of sunset in the Rockaways, Grosse has transformed Fort Tilden’s decaying aquatics building into a monumental and sublime artwork using a specialized technique of spraying brightly colored paint directly onto the structure. Grosse’s installation serves as a final celebration and memorialization of this iconic building, which was rendered structurally unsound by Hurricane Sandy in 2013 and is set to be demolished in late 2016.

Grosse’s singular approach highlights the potential of painting as a medium, and encapsulates the stark beauty of this manmade structure and its natural surroundings. In her practice, Grosse seeks to extend the scope of her painting beyond the borders of the canvas. Grosse’s installation work seamlessly combines subtle nuances of light and shadow, characteristic of traditional landscape painting, with the weight and spectacle of large-scale sculpture. These sprawling and sculptural landscapes evoke the physicality of action painting and earthworks through their gestures and monumentality.

Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator-at-Large, Museum of Modern Art, said “In 2008, I saw Katharina Grosse’s work for Prospect.1 in New Orleans, where she painted a small house that was abandoned and condemned after Hurricane Katrina. I was deeply moved that a building just waiting to be taken down was given this temporary, proud, and fragile beauty.  When I heard that the aquatics building in Fort Tilden was to be demolished following Hurricane Sandy, I immediately wanted to invite Katharina to do a project at the site.” Biesenbach added, “our collaboration, especially with the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy and National Park Service, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is focused on the longer-term strategy to bring awareness to the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay as one of the most fragile ecological zones in New York City—as demonstrated by Hurricane Sandy. It is an area that bears both some of the most significant challenges, but also the largest potential for our community.”

Thomas Secunda, Co-Founder of Bloomberg LP and Chair of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, added, “The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy is proud to partner with MoMA PS1, Rockaway Artists Alliance, National Park Service and the Central Park Conservancy on this exciting public art installation by Katharina Grosse. Katharina captures the bold, expansive and exhilarating colors of the Rockaway sunset, which we all treasure as part of our collective experience of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks. We are honored and extend our appreciation to Katharina for sharing her vision with us.  Special thanks to Klaus Biesenbach, Joshua Laird, Dan Guarino, and their dedicated teams for making this happen.”

Rockaway! is a celebration of the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway Peninsula following the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, organized in collaboration with the Rockaway Artists Alliance, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, National Park Service, Central Park Conservancy, NYC Parks & Recreation, and Rockaway Beach Surf Club. Rockaway! 2016 is a continuation of MoMA PS1’s ongoing collaborative programming alongside the Rockaway Artists Alliance that began with collaborating on rescue efforts immediately following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and continued with the VW Dome 2 in 2013 and Rockaway! in summer 2014, which featured solo projects by Patti Smith, Adrián Villar Rojas, and Janet Cardiff as well as a group show at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club.

Special thanks to Arverne By The Sea, LLC, Rockaway Beach Boulevard Construction, LLC and All Points, Inc. Rockaway! is made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Secunda Family Foundation.

The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC) is a public-private partnership established in 2013 that is dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkland throughout Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway Peninsula for local residents and visitors alike. With its partners at the National Park Service and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, JBRPC works to expand public access; increase recreational and educational opportunities; foster citizen stewardship and volunteerism; preserve and restore natural areas, including wetland and wildlife habitat; enhance cultural resources; and ensure the long-term sustainability of the parklands, including the development of the Science and Resilience Institute.

The National Park Service (NPS) operates more than 400 parks and historic sites nationwide, including Gateway National Recreation Area—which contains Fort Tilden—established in 1972 as America’s first urban national park. In 2012, NPS and the City of New York forged an unprecedented partnership to restore and revitalize 10,000 acres of unique parklands surrounding Jamaica Bay. Rockaway!, a direct outgrowth of that collaboration, seeks to attract and engage new visitors to these amazing waterfront parks.

The Central Park Conservancy is proud to support the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, a public-private partnership dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkland throughout Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway peninsula for local residents and visitors alike, with a series of summer volunteer opportunities and free activities, including a film festival presented by the Rockaway Artists Alliance.

NYC Parks is the steward of nearly 30,000 acres of land─14 percent of New York City. These holdings include some 3,000 acres within the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks, including Rockaway Beach, the iconic urban getaway recently rediscovered by a new generation of surfers and beach lovers. NYC Parks launched its Art in the Parks program in 1967 and now oversees more than 800 permanent monuments and dozens of temporary artworks each year and, through its collaboration with the National Park Service on the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks, provided additional support for Rockaway!

Rockaway Beach Surf Club is a cultural event space, restaurant and bar devoted to promoting the love of surfing, conserving the environment and supporting its local neighborhood. Unique to Rockaway Beach is the convergence of surf and urban culture. Our mission is to inspire the community and its residents through surfing and be a fun and positive destination for visitors to the peninsula. We believe in supporting everything the community has to offer…including the work of artists, writers, musicians and all lovers of surf and beach. In 2012, Rockaway Beach Surf Club led the on-ground recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy and will continue to be a leader in the community for years to come.