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Water, Water Everywhere: Olafur Eliasson Will Add Waterfalls to East River

waterfall.bmpLast month, we told you about “The River that Flows Both Ways,” a Hudson River-themed public art project by Spencer Finch that will inaugurate New York’s High Line Park this fall. Not to be outdone by its westside fluvial rival, the East River is getting its own water-themed art project. Three words: Olafur Eliasson waterfalls.

This summer, the Danish/Icelandic artist will install a series of freestanding waterfalls in New York’s East River. The project, funded by the Public Art Fund, will be announced tomorrow by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a press conference at the South Street Seaport.

A front-page story in today’s New York Sun speculates that the waterfall project will “be the city’s biggest public art project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude‘s ‘The Gates’” and pegs the cost at between $9 million and $11 million. As for the size of the waterfalls, the Sun says:

According to a source whom the mayor told about the project, the waterfalls will rise about 60 to 70 feet above the water — more than half as high as the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge. They will be visible from the area around the Seaport, from Brooklyn Heights, and from the Governors Island Ferry.

The waterfalls project will coincide with the first full-scale U.S. retrospective of Eliasson’s work (now at SFMOMA, the show opens at New York’s Museum of Modern Art on April 20th). Meanwhile, we’re just extraordinarily pleased that the Sun got the scoop on a new project by Eliasson, who is perhaps best known for illuminating Tate Modern’s turbine hall with his own version of that publication’s namesake celestial body.

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