This piece of minimalist sculpture is called Tilted Arc, a 120 foot long Cor-ten steel structure by Richard Serra that was installed in the Federal Plaza in New York in 1981. By 1989, however, it was removed after much controversy. Amongst other things, it was accused of promoting totalitarianism, vandalism and crime.

Of the work, Serra has said:

The viewer becomes aware of himself and of his movement through the plaza. As he moves, the sculpture changes. Contraction and expansion of the sculpture result from the viewer’s movement. Step by step the perception not only of the sculpture but of the entire environment changes.

A beautiful work. It’s a shame it’s been destroyed.

Photo credits for two of these images: David Aschkenas


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  1. Totalitarianism? Really? Sometimes the US of A really annoys me. Wonderfully dark. :) love the contrast between the piece and surrounding buildings, stone, etc.

  2. Yeah, it looks really harsh to the surroundings, and really jagged as though it came beneath the ground itself.

  3. In order to answer to accusing in totelitarism they should overturn it vertical… or install it as overturned shaiked arch… it might be simbol of chenges in this case:)…

  4. george arnold

    Tilted Arc actually made what had been, and is again a really dreadful space interesting.

  5. The top 2 photos of TILTED ARC are mine, and copyrighted to me as the photographer.
    Please list my credit and link to my web site if you wish to continue to show the photographs. If not, please remove the photographs.

    Thank you.
    David Aschkenas



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