Stan Douglas at Penn Station

From 1 January 2021 at Penn Station's new Moynihan Train Hall, three ambitious site-specific permanent installations by artists Stan Douglas, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, and Kehinde Wiley go on permanent view. Public Art Fund was invited by Empire State Development to develop and direct a program of ambitious art installations for three prominent sites within the Train Hall. In keeping with the redesigned building’s architectural integration of old and new, the art program commissioned three of the world’s leading artists to create large-scale, site-specific artworks that reflect broadly on notions of past, present, and future. 

 

 

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. In order to recreate both the demolished building and these moments, Douglas undertook extensive archival research. Extrapolating from photographs, newspaper articles, and architectural plans, he restaged historical events by posing and photographing live performers in period costume. Douglas stitched together dozens of exposures to create each tableau, which he then set within exactingly rendered CGI (computer-generated imagery) backgrounds that faithfully reproduce the soaring ceilings and stately concourses of the original Station. Douglas selected events that chronicle the breadth of collective experience for which Penn Station served as a stage. With a cinematic quality, each scene revives history in uncanny detail, revealing this architectural landmark as a grand theater for the millions of human dramas that animate civic spaces and endow them with meaning.

 

 

This is complete fantasy – we don’t know what it looked like. We found out who was doing shows on the Eastern Seaboard and incorporated them. We found acrobatic troupes of the era and reference images for costuming and their acts.’ – Stan Douglas 

Since the late 1980s, Stan Douglas has used photography, film, and theater to reconsider history and the means of its documentation, which define its shape in our collective memory. Born of exhaustive historical research, Douglas’s artworks bring new focus to overlooked events specific to a particular location. He frequently hones in on intimate, localized moments of spectacle and poignancy that speak to broader societal shifts. In restaging these events, Douglas consciously references the technologies he employs to bring them to life. In Penn Station’s Half Century, depictions of vaudeville performers, Hollywood set designs, and photo mural ad campaigns echo Douglas’s own artistic process, suggesting that photographic documentation has the potential to be a medium of fantasy as much as one of verisimilitude. 

 

 

Speaking to The New York Times, Douglas said, ‘This is complete fantasy – we don’t know what it looked like. We found out who was doing shows on the Eastern Seaboard and incorporated them. We found acrobatic troupes of the era and reference images for costuming and their acts.’

 

Conceived specifically for the series of four architectural niches that anchor the rear wall of the Ticketed Waiting Room, the nine individual scenes are connected by multiple narrative threads and introduce subtle details that reveal themselves upon close examination. Penn Station’s Half Century is the artist’s first permanent public commission in the United States.

 

Read more about the project via Public Art Fund

 

Victoria Miro

16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
t: +44 (0)20 7336 8109

info@victoria-miro.com

View map

Victoria Miro Venice

Il Capricorno, San Marco 1994,

Calle Drio La Chiesa

30124 Venice, Italy

t: +39 041 523 3799 

info@victoria-miro.com
View map

Opening Times

London: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–6pm. 

 

Venice: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–1pm & 2–6pm. 

 

We are also closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays. 

 

Admission free. 



 

Enquiries

All general enquiries should be sent to  
info@victoria-miro.com


Victoria Miro does not accept unsolicited artist applications.

 

Before contacting or subscribing please read our Privacy Policy

 

We respect the choices you make about how you would like to hear from us. You will find links at the bottom of all emails we send from our mailing list which allow you to Update your preferences to change the way we contact you, or Unsubscribe if you want to opt out.

Subscribe

Staff contact details

Directors

Victoria Miro
W.P. Miro
Glenn Scott Wright
Divya Pande
Head of Directors' Office, Client and Business Development
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0903

Sales

Matt Carey-Williams
Senior Director, Head of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4345
Oliver Miro
Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0496
Senior Director, Sales
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0494
Clare Coombes
Director of Sales - Museum Acquisitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0919
Alessandra Modiano
Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4346
Director – Venice
Direct line: +39 041 523 3799
Fern Warriner
Sales Associate; EA to Matt Carey-Williams
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0905
Mary Eleanor McNicholas
Art Fair Co-ordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0498

Exhibitions

Erin Manns
Director of Exhibitions - Head of Department
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0423
Director of Exhibitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0918
Mary Taylor
Senior Production Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0424
Production and Artist Projects
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0426
Exhibitions Associate
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0901
Vortic Exhibitions Associate
Direct line: +44 (0)20 3962 4354
Virginia Sirena
Front of House Coordinator and Exhibitions Administrator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109

Communications

Kathy Stephenson
Director of Communications
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0422
Martin Coomer
Head of Editorial and Digital Content
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0915
Marisa J. Futernick
Digital and Social Media Consultant
Direct line: +1 (860) 549-2576
Katrina Millar
Communications, Marketing & Events Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)207 549 0499
Bea Bradley
Photography, Rights & Reproduction Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0428
Special Projects and Communications
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0912
Design and Communications Coordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0499

Operations

Robert Holzberger
Director of Operations
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0495
Emer Bermingham
Senior Operations Manager
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4349
Buildings and IT Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0914
Clare Rowe
Paper Archive and Records Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0493
Philip Ewe
Library Coordinator and Archive Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Adeline Guy
Registrar Director - Head of Department
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7324 0916
Jayne Archard
Senior Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)207 324 0910
Alice Panton
Senior Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0904
Elina Pelvanidi
Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4348

Technical Services

David Wood
Technical Operations Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0900
Jon Glazier
Head Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0425
Martin Fletcher
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 3962 4340
Jonny Winter
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 9624 341
Rob Phillips
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492
Ross Taylor
Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492

Finance

Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109