Warning of Global Warming on Ludlow Street

Posted on: March 17th, 2015 at 5:18 am by
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“Warming,” the yellow awning announces at 38 Ludlow Street. Just in time for more springlike weather. But closer inspection reveals that it’s part of a new public exhibit by linguistics-inspired artist Kay Rosen.

The canopy is commentary on the effects of global warming. Namely, a warning, the word for which is also spelled by removing the red leg of the letter “M.” Crafty. Or for the official description…

The black letters show up sharply against the yellow background in Kay Rosen’s design for an awning. The double meaning that arises from the one-word message is due to the structure of the words and letterforms N and M. The (extra) stroke of the letter M changes WARNING to WARMING and the same position of N and M in both words allows the meaning of the word to evolve. The M leg, distinguished by red, also functions as a thermometer, linguistically measuring the heat. The awning, itself an element that protects from the weather, visualizes our dependency on it.

Behind this latest piece is the Ludlow 38 gallery, the Goethe-Institut New York’s contemporary art space. The gallery first opened on the block back in 2008. In its own words, the showroom has “provided for curatorial experimentation in the tradition of the German ‘Kunstverein.'”

“Warming” will be on display at 38 Ludlow through the end of the year.

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