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Famed 1920s Sculpture to Go up in Hunters Point South Park

Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935, Floating Woman, 1927, courtesy Lachaise Foundation

Sept. 22, 2020 By Allie Griffin

An acclaimed sculpture created in the 1920s will find a new home in Long Island City this week.

‘Floating Woman’ by Gaston Lachaise will be installed inside Hunters Point South Park on Thursday, with a brief unveiling ceremony at 3 p.m. that will include a performance by members of the Queensboro Dance Festival.

The sculpture will be in the park for one year.

Lachaise cast the bronze sculpture, a celebration of his wife and the human form, at the Modern Art Foundry in Astoria in 1927.

The Queens connection, coupled with its visibility from the East River, inspired the Lachaise Foundation to choose the park for its location.

‘Floating Woman’ is one of Lachaise’s best-known, monumental works. The female sculpture represents an earth goddess, a repeated theme in his work. The vision was inspired by his wife Isabel and is a tribute to the power of all women.

“You may say that the model is my wife. It is a large generous figure of great placidity, great tranquility,” the artist wrote in 1928. “What I am aiming to express is the glorification of the human being, of the human body, of the human spirit with all there is of daring, magnificence. . .”

A total of nine casts of ‘Floating Woman’ exist and the work has been shown in museums throughout the world.

The piece will sit by the water on the west side of the old railroad tracks in the park, aligned with 51st Avenue.

“Placed at the end of the line of railroad tracks, the sculpture looks back at the historic city where Lachaise once thrived, and forward out across the East River, a harbinger of hope, beautifully situated in this elegant and dynamic but at the same time rustic Hunters Point South Park, a true oasis in a busy city,” said Director of the Lachaise Foundation, Paula Hornbostel. “May this work empower women everywhere with its depiction of spiritual beauty.”

The Lachaise Foundation worked in partnership with Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, NYC Parks Arts & Antiquities Division, and Community Board 2 on the installation.

“We are thrilled that this powerful majestic woman will be welcoming visitors to the park,” said Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy. “Thank you to the Lachaise Foundation and to New York City Parks for making this happen.”

‘Floating Woman’

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