Painted in aluminium rich paint (a standard roof finish in New York), Richard Wentworth’s Agora, commissioned in 2015, covers the entire surface of the car park. Mirroring the ever-changing weather conditions on site, the reflective design unifies and activates the space. The deceptively simple patterning has been compared to silvery snail trails as much as the decorative energy of Southern Europe’s traditional paving and textiles.
The work pursues Richard Wentworth’s long held passion for the meeting point between spatial conditions and social reality. Agora, a Greek word for gathering place, also shares an etymological root with ‘gregarious’, highlighting the work’s ambition to bring the space to life for the many people who come to visit. Agora emphasises the ‘polis’, the way we behave collectively in the city. Ironically, while we stand on Agora, probably in conversation, we can also witness the city which harbours us.
Richard Wentworth (b. 1947, Samoa) lives and works in London.
Photo: Quintin Lake