Grand Central Terminal, 43rd Street in Grand Central Market
Donald Lipski: Sirshasana, 1998
Aluminum and polyester resin sculpture with crystals in ceiling
In Sirshasana, a sculptural chandelier in the shape of a golden-rooted olive tree suspended above the street-level entrance to the Grand Central Market, Donald Lipski drew upon Hindu and Greek lore. “To the ancient Greeks the olive tree symbolized freedom and purity,” he explains. “And the name Sirshasana refers to a yoga headstand posture - the inverted tree ….” With branches that span twenty-five feet and 5,000 brilliant crystal pendants, the tree dominates the area, bringing the feel of an outdoor market.
The space was designed so that morning sun bathes the tree and floods the market with light. The form has writhing, enticing, and unexpected elements, with the base of the tree finished in gold and crystals dangling in place of olives In addition to alluding to the decorative chandeliers in Grand Central, the tree is a comment on the allure of the exotic and tempting wares sold in the marketplace.
Donald Lipski started off as an artist in New York, creating sculptures out of objects and materials he found on the streets of Lower Manhattan. Today he has grown his practice to include found and repurposed industrial materials to create large-scale public art installations. Lipski is one of the most prolific and visible public artists in America today.