Photographing the cubed curve my photos, my words

I like public art. The sculptures that dot sidewalks and parks in many major cities can provide interesting viewing and, in many cases, attractive photographs.

This gallery features photos of Cubed Curve, a sculpture that sits outside the Time-Life Building on the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 50th Street in New York City. The sculpture, by New York-born artist William Crovello, was commissioned by the Association for a Better New York and installed in 1972.

It’s one of my two favorite pieces of public art to photograph. (The other is Cupid’s Span, a giant bow and arrow on the Embarcadero in San Francisco, but that’s another story for another day.)

The blue metal Curbed Curve is appropriately named. It’s a giant curve (think of the horseshoe-shaped magnets we had as kids) that has had its “legs” bent into additional curves so the entire object forms a cube.

The sculpture looks different from various positions around the cube and the flow of curves in the sculpture provide interesting angles to photograph. Add the tall buildings that surround it (the Time-Life Building beside the sculpture, the McGraw-Hill Building and News Corporation Building in the next block to the south, Radio City Music Hall across Sixth Avenue) and a blue sky above and a photographer is presented with almost unlimited compositional opportunities.

I’ve grabbed photos of Cubed Curve many times on visits to New York City, but I’m concerned the sculpture won’t be around (at least in its original location) in the future.

The Rockefeller Group, owner of the Time-Life Building, has announced plans to renovate the building. Those plans include redesigning the plaza facing Sixth Avenue by removing the fountain adjacent to the building’s exterior and creating a new landscaping feature and fountain. The landscaping feature would extend atop the subway entrance on the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 50th Street. The Cubed Curve sculpture sits atop that subway entrance today.

It’s unclear what the Rockefeller Group’s plans mean for the sculpture.

Click on a photo to see a larger version.
Created By
Pat Hemlepp


All photographs and text: © Copyright - Pat D. Hemlepp

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