About the Artist
Through photography, film and installation the Canadian artist Stan Douglas has, since the late-1980s, examined complex intersections of narrative, fact and fiction while simultaneously scrutinising the media he employs and how it shapes our understanding of reality. Douglas' work is often in the first instance an examination of place – Lisbon, Potsdam, Havana and Detroit have provided the impetus for, respectively, The Secret Agent, 2015, Der Sandmann, 1995, Inconsolable Memories, 2005 and Le Détroit, 1999 – but entangled with the detail of specific geographical and political circumstance is a diverse range of source material that has included the literary constructs of Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, Herman Melville, Samuel Beckett and ETA Hoffmann, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles.
In Focus – Penn Station’s Half Century, 2020, goes on view in the new Moynihan Train Hall
Stan Douglas has mined the history of the original Penn Station, giving heroic pictorial life to narratives from different moments in time using today’s most advanced digital technologies.
From 1910 to 1963 the original Pennsylvania Station stood one block east of Moynihan Train Hall, on the footprint of today’s Madison Square Garden. The demolition of the grand, Beaux Arts building, designed by eminent American architects McKim, Mead & White, is now considered an incomparable loss to the history of Gilded Age architecture and to the urban landscape of New York. In the Ticketed Waiting Room at Moynihan Train Hall, artist Stan Douglas’s nine photographic panels, arranged in three pairs and one triptych, reconstruct significant but little-known moments spanning the Station’s half-century lifespan, standing as vivid evocations of the city’s forgotten history.