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MTA Press Release - June 2002
Grand Central Terminal Installation Establishes a Place for Reflection on the Events of September 11

View of the MTA exhibit

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit program will present Seen From Above in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall on July 19, a site-specific installation designed to provide an environment for the public to reflect upon the events of September 11th.

The installation combines two large-scale landscapes depicting east and west views from the World Trade Center Towers with ambient music and minimal seating. The paintings were recently created for Vanderbilt Hall by Daniel Kohn. The installation runs until August 19.

"We hope that Seen From Above will provide people with an opportunity to reflect and perhaps find some solace in the aftermath of September 11," said MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow "This installation is another reminder of how important the arts are in helping us deal with an almost incomprehensible event. By presenting this exhibition in Grand Central we hope to create a contemplative environment that will help people heal."

The installation, comprised of two large-scale landscape paintings, is designed to transport the viewer from the bustle of the city into a place of reflection. The landscapes present striking views-one looking west towards New Jersey, the second facing east to Brooklyn-as seen from the upper floors of the World Trade Center, thereby inviting the viewers to contemplate these views from their own individual perspective.

Original music by Christopher Thompson and Howard Harrison was commissioned especially for Seen From Above. It is inspired by the paintings, reflects some of their themes - hope, solitude, possibility - and is meant to provide a subtly shifting background that transforms this public space into a place for introspection.

Daniel Kohn was one of many visual artists who took part in World Views, a program of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council offering vacant office space in Tower One of the World Trade Center for use as studios. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey provided the 10,000 square feet of raw, windowed office space for artist residency programs. Kohn's residency took place in 1998-99 on the 91st floor. The two paintings in this installation are recent creations that evolved from sketches, paintings, and observations of this period. They are each composed of 20 7' x 7' oil on canvas panels.

"The residency enabled us to investigate the experience of working in the World Trade Center as well as have access to the amazing views of the city, and the horizon which was my focus there," said Kohn. "Since the fall of the towers, I felt there was a need to capture some of the discrete details I witnessed as an artist there and share them with a larger audience. With these paintings I hope to bring the public to this disappeared view from above, and provide them with a place to remember and reflect."

MTA Arts for Transit encourages the use of public transit by presenting visual and performing arts projects in subway and commuter rail stations.