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Rising and Setting

Riverdale (Hudson)

Rising and Setting

Dennis Oppenheim
Artwork in perforated painted steel sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim showing low-relief, brightly colored metal sculptures in the shape of four houses.
“Rising and Setting” (2006) by Dennis Oppenheim at MNR Riverdale Station. Photo: Rob Wilson

About the Project

For Metro-North's Riverdale station in the Bronx, Dennis Oppenheim created a low-relief, brightly painted metal sculpture in the shape of four houses. They seem to be ascending and descending in the way the sun rises and sets, and thus the title, “Rising and Setting.” The sculpture, installed outdoors, is painted in shades of yellow, orange and blue. As Oppenheim explained, "This work evokes the daily cycle of commuters, those who leave in the morning and return at night. Instead of the sun rising and setting, the neighborhood itself is shown engaging in a similar movement from the bright, early morning to the dark, late evening." 

About the Artist

Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011) was an innovative artist, an early practitioner of earthworks, body art, and conceptual art. He rose to prominence in the 1960s with ephemeral interventions, cutting patterns into expansive landscapes, and later using body as material. In the ‘80s, Oppenheim moved in a new direction with his work, creating “machine pieces” – complex constructions that functioned as metaphors for the artistic process. By the mid-1990s, Oppenheim was renowned for large-scale, Pop-inflected sculptures and permanent installations that fused elements of sculpture and architecture. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at museums including the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, with his works held in the public and private collections, including the MoMA in New York and the Tate Modern, London to name a few.