Lonely Planet Writer

This light installation will make waves in New York City until next March

An eye-catching installation has been unveiled in Madison Square Park, New York. Whiteout by artist Erwin Redl comprises hundreds of twinkling LED lights in the park’s central Oval Lawn. Suspended from a steel grid two feet above the ground, the orbs sway with the wind, creating a mesmerising wave pattern that visitors can enjoy until 25 March next year.

'Whiteout' in Madison Square Park
Whiteout has been unveiled in Madison Square Park. Photo by: Rashmi Gill

The spectacle is particularly magical as we move into the festive season, and has proven popular on lots of Instagram feeds! “Whiteout has been mesmerizing for the public,” says Martin Friedman, Madison Square Art’s Senior Curator. “Erwin’s work is unexpected because of the layers of movement; the gentle swaying of illuminated orbs because of wind, with a sequence of technology on top. It is quite magical. Works of art on view in Madison Square Park are seen in the context of complete democracy – no admission fees, complete viewing access for people.”

Lights hang over the frass in Madison Square Park
Hundreds of lights are suspended above the grass. Photo by: Rashmi Gill

Artist Erwin Redl tells Lonely Planet how he decided on the installation’s unique format. “The flow of urban traffic, as well as natural wave patterns, have always been inspiring to me. I like to work with unexpected contrasts and seeming contradictions. We expect objects to be inert and static. Exposing 900 illuminated spheres to the draft in the park by suspending them off the ground from a 12 feet cable grid creates a startling visual narrative. The spheres are arranged in a square grid which is broken up by their undulating collective movement. The enormous area of 173 by 107 feet the installation covers starts to float, both through the movement of the spheres as well as the light sequences the illuminated spheres are displaying.”

Whiteout will be on display until March 2018
See this pretty spectacle until March 2018. Photo by Rashmi Gill

Erwin is delighted with the response to Whiteout so far. “The reactions have been extremely enthusiastic,” he says. “During the 20-day set-up process, my team were already receiving very encouraging feedback. Once the installation opened to the public, it feels like there are at least 100 people at a time photographing and videotaping the work. The responses on social media and by the press are overwhelmingly positive.”