BROOKLYN, NY (November 19, 2019) – Two Trees today unveiled a new commission by the renowned artist Robert Swain, a permanent installation for the lobby of One South First, the second building at the Domino Sugar Factory site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
An integral part of the building’s architecture, Color Sensation Cube, Swain’s first work in glass, creates a multifaceted immersive environment located in the residential lobby. The 45-story building comprises two interlocking towers, integrating residential, recreational, office, and retail spaces across the site. Designed by renowned architecture firm COOKFOX, the building’s distinct facade is inspired by the structure of sugar crystals, honoring the site’s history as one of the world’s largest sugar refineries.
“Robert Swain is one of the most influential artists of his generation and a key member of the Hunter Color School. We are thrilled to have commissioned to create this new work for One South First and bring his 50 years of research on the phenomenology of color into a new medium. Color Sensation Cube adds a depth of color to the site, creating an engaging and visually rich experience for residents and visitors,” said Kate Gavriel, Two Trees Cultural Affairs Director.
Color Sensation Cube is Robert Swain’s latest investigation into the color system he has developed and refined over the past 50 years. Representing nine hues from his 30-part color circle, the eight-foot-tall colored glass panels in Color Sensation Cube are positioned across a 325 SF area to create a dynamic array of colors that change with the viewers perspective and time of day. These colors are amplified by the space's muted palette of cast concrete, stainless steel, and polished white terrazzo floors, creating a radiating centerpiece for the space.
Swain began his color-based work in 1966 and has since created a color library with 4,896 distinct hues. Through his exploration of color, Swain has set out to create artworks that generate complex and nuanced sensations, stimulated by the physiological changes produced by our perception of color. Color Sensation Cube translates these concerns into a new medium for the artist, playing on the historic use of stained glass as a vehicle for enhancing architectural sites. For the installation, Swain, presents color exclusively, similar to his paintings which are void of representational imagery.
“Perceptual psychologists have theorized that the human eye can perceive 100,000 or more distinct colors and note that color emanates from the electromagnetic spectrum,” said artist Robert Swain. “The energy from the spectrum activates the perceptual process in humans and, in turn, stimulates emotional feelings. The quest of this work of art was to activate the spectral sensations of color and fill the architectural space with a color experience.”
About Robert Swain
Swain, member of the Hunter Color School, has exhibited nationally and internationally for more than 40 years, and his work is represented in nearly 300 public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Walker Art Center, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Milwaukee Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, Everson Art Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, among others. He has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts (1976, 1989), New York State Council on the Arts, and the City University of New York. In addition to his artistic work, Swain taught in the Department of Art & Art History at Hunter College from 1968-2014, where he educated and mentored countless generations of artists.
About Minus Space
Founded in 2003 and based in Dumbo, Brooklyn since 2013, Minus Space gallery has represented Robert Swain's art work for nearly a decade. The gallery specializes in the past, present, and future of reductive abstract art on the international level, and is located in Two Trees Management Company's premiere gallery building at 16 Main Street since it opened its doors in 2015.
About One South First
One South First is the second building to rise at its award-winning Domino Sugar Factory site. The mixed-use, 45-story building designed by COOKFOX Architects includes 330 rental apartments, boutique office space and independent retailers. Located on Domino Park at the corner of Grand Street and Kent Avenue, the building’s distinct facade is inspired by the structure of sugar crystals, honoring the site’s long history as a sugar manufacturing plant. The opening of One South First follows 325 Kent, which opened its doors in Summer 2017.
Domino Sugar Factory Plan
The Domino Sugar Factory site is an 11-acre, mixed-use development just north of the Williamsburg Bridge. Throughout the long-term planning process, Two Trees has prioritized cutting-edge design and architecture, community input, sustainability, and waterfront connectivity. In 2017, Two Trees opened 325 Kent, the site’s first new residential building and last summer it opened Domino Park to the public.
Working closely with the Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism, Two Trees is also transforming the landmarked Domino Sugar Refinery building into a unique, custom-designed, commercial office campus, that simultaneously preserves the 19th-century building’s historic façade.
Fulfilling its mission to cultivate a diverse and welcoming community, Two Trees will ultimately build 2,800 rental apartments across four residential buildings, 700 of which will be affordable to low-income residents, 600,000 square feet of commercial office space, and 200,000 square feet of retail at the Domino site.
About Two Trees Management
Two Trees is a family-owned Brooklyn-based real estate developer best known for its singular role in transforming the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO from a neglected industrial waterfront to a thriving mixed-use community. Our fundamental belief is that successful neighborhoods offer a wide variety of uses and attract diverse groups of people. Developers must play a fundamental role in cultivating livable streetscapes because people prosper when neighborhoods bloom.
In addition to residential and office buildings in DUMBO, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights and Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen and Flatiron neighborhoods, Two Trees’ other notable projects include Domino Park, Wythe Hotel and Jane’s Carousel.