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Harold Ancart | Subliminal Standard
May 1, 2019 - March 1, 2020
Brooklyn-based artist Harold Ancart (b. 1980, Brussels, Belgium) has created this painted concrete sculpture as an homage to the accidental abstract compositions that appear on New York City’s ubiquitous freestanding handball walls. The artist sees the mismatched repainting and partial repairs that mask graffiti and other wear on these courts as “subliminal,” inadvertent masterpieces. He relishes their fortuitous connection to the canon of abstract art.
Handball is an urban sport that was popularized by immigrants in the early 20th century, but Subliminal Standard is not a typical handball court. It is Ancart’s most ambitious artwork to date – a newly-built structure with nuanced and compelling painted surfaces inspired by his fascination with seemingly quotidian found forms and patterns. Here, the artist’s distinctive painting style extends beyond the frame of the canvas and outside the museum’s walls to interact with its setting in subtle ways. Ancart invites us to immerse ourselves in this extraordinary environment and to become part of its composition as we engage with our surroundings, each other, and art in a new way. In the game of handball, all you need is a ball and a wall to play. Subliminal Standard proposes that we only need our imagination to perceive the unseen beauty that surrounds us every day.
Subliminal Standard is curated by Associate Curator Daniel S. Palmer
Cadman Park Plaza
Public Art Fund, 2019