16 Bronze Beauties Alight on Broadway

Wall Street Journal, Greater New York, Friday, May 14, 2010

By Pia Catton

16 Bronze Sculpture Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal. A Manolo Valdés sculptures is installed at 96th Street and Broadway. The project spans 12 locations between Columbus Circle and 166th Street.

Some new residents of the Upper West Side are already creating a stir.

series of 16 bronze sculptures by Spanish contemporary artist Manolo Valdé's has been installed at 12 locations along the Broadway mall between Columbus Circle and 166th Street.

Mr. Valdés, who lives and works in New York and Madrid, combines disparate influences, such as pop imagery and classical painting, into his large-scale works. Six of the bronzes on view are 12-foot-tall abstract female heads with elaborate head pieces. Another series of six sculptures are in homage to the painter Diego Velázquez and his depictions of Queen Mariana, an 18th-century Spanish royal. They stand 8 feet tall and weigh 2,000 pounds.

Two abstract equestrian statues were also inspired by Mr. Velàzquez. Mr. Valdé's 2006 work "Odalisca," which refers to the work of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, will be placed in Verdi Square near the 72nd Street subway station.

The project, which runs until Jan. 23, is a collaboration of the Broadway Mall Association and Marlborough Gallery, as well as the departments of transportation and parks and recreation.