Commission
Spencer Finch at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Public Commission
May 15, 2014
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SPENCER FINCH
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning, 2014
Commission for National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Photo: Ofer Wolberger

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SPENCER FINCH
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning, 2014
Commission for National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Photo: Ofer Wolberger

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SPENCER FINCH
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning (detail), 2014
Commission for National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Photo: Ofer Wolberger

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SPENCER FINCH
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning (detail), 2014
Commission for National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Photo: Ofer Wolberger

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SPENCER FINCH
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning, 2014
Commission for National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Photo: Ofer Wolberger

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SPENCER FINCH
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning, 2014
Commission for National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Photo: Ofer Wolberger

Brooklyn-based visual artist Spencer Finch’s installation, Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning, at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is composed of 2,983 individual watercolors representing the artist’s recollection of the sky on September 11, 2001. With each square a distinct color of blue, this panoramic work addresses the idea of memory.

The mosaic work of 2,983 unique blues was completed in 2014 in the artist’s studio in Brooklyn, NY. Each watercolor was hand-painted by Finch as a set of two originals—one set for exhibition, and one set for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum archives. The artwork is mounted on a custom fabricated metal grid by four magnets affixed to the back of each watercolor. Every shade of blue was photographed and laid out prior to installation on a digital grid. During installation, each piece was positioned by hand on the grid with the placement finalized by the artist on site.


 

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SPENCER FINCH
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning (detail), 2014
Commission for National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Photo: Ofer Wolberger

Spencer Finch was born 1962 in New Haven Connecticut, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He received a BA in comparative literature from Hamilton College, and a MFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. Finch’s work seeks to capture the most elusive of subjects through the exploration of color, light, memory and perception. Often employing scientific means to a poetic end, his installations, drawings, photographs, and public projects navigate the foggy terrain between the translation of empirical data and the nature of artistic subjectivity. Finch’s works involve the artist studying, recording, and translating the feeling and conditions of a particular place at a particular moment. His artwork titles reflect these quests to capture the fleeting and ineffable, such as West (Sunset in My Motel Room, Monument Valley, January 26, 2007); 102 Colors from My Dreams; Grand Canyon From Valhalla Point With My Eyes Closed (Morning, Late Morning, Noon, Evening); White (Niagara Falls Obscured By Mist, April 17th, 2006 5:30pm); and Trying to Remember the Color of Jackie Kennedy’s Pillbox Hat.

 

Spencer Finch’s recent exhibitions include solo shows at The Morgan Library, New York, NY (June 2014); The Turner Contemporary, Margate, England (May 2014); Spencer Finch: Yellow, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ (2014); Following Nature, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN (2013); Lunar, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2011); and Spencer Finch: My Business with the Cloud, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2010). Finch’s work has been exhibited widely in group shows internationally, including the Museé de La Poste, Paris; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany; The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; the Hayward Gallery, London, and the International Venice Biennale, Italy. His recent public commissions include Paddington Crossrail Station, London, UK (forthcoming); Vital Signs, Piccadily, London, UK (2012); Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore, MD; and The River that Flows Both Ways, The High Line, New York, NY (2009). Finch’s work is in the collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; among others. The artist is represented in the U.S. by the James Cohan Gallery, New York and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.

 

More information about the artist can be found on Spencer Finch's page.

Coverage of this project on The New York Times can be found here.