Reconstructing City Hall

richard-woods-1-by-tribeca-citizenRobert Melee’s melting figures—sure to have given nightmares to more than one visitor to City Hall Park—have been replaced by art that’s much more child-friendly, if a little less obviously art. British artist Robert Woods’s wall and door and roof sheathes City Hall’s two security booths in “cartoon-looking red bricks,” according to the explanatory plaque, with similarly trompe l’oeil roofs. (The bricks also call to mind cardboard building blocks.) Of less benefit to people who don’t work in City Hall, Woods has also covered the inside of a set of lobby doors with a “printed graphic that is a representation of itself.” The installation is the latest in a long series sponsored by the Public Art Fund, which has most notably showed such artists as Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Calder, and Julian Opie in and around the park. Woods’s wall and door and roof is appropriately summery, but one has to wonder whether the security guards—who seem to prefer not to be disturbed—will be happier come September, when it will be taken down.