Tauba Auerbach Coats Historic New York Fireboat in a Dazzling Marble Pattern

Flow Separation is Tauba Auerbach’s work painted onto the historic New York fireboat John J. Harvey, part of an arts program celebrating the centenary of WWI. Photography by Nicholas Knight/Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery and Public Art Fund, NY.

“Dazzle is not about hiding, it’s about surprising,” states. Why is a 37-year-old Brooklyn artist talking about a World War I camouflage technique? Because her latest canvas is the , which served the FDNY from 1931 to 1994 but came out of retirement on September 11, 2001. Now an operational museum, the and , a cultural program focused on marking the WWI centenary on November 11, commissioned Auerbach to transform the vessel into an artwork inspired by the period be­tween 1914 and 1918. Her resulting Flow Separation incorporates two patterns generated through the process of marbling paper, its appearance simulating the motion of liquid called fluid dynamics, and then painted in JJH’s original red-and-white palette. It’s afloat at piers along Brooklyn Bridge Park and Hudson River Park through May 12, 2019.

The razzle-dazzle–inspired patterns derived from the marbling-paper process. Photography by Nicholas Knight/Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery and Public Art Fund, NY.
Flow Separation by Tauba Auerbach. Photography by Nicholas Knight/Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery and Public Art Fund, NY.

> See more from the July 2018 issue of Wifijerez

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