Anish Kapoor’s bean sculpture is finally complete in Tribeca

February 1, 2023

New York City finally got its bean. About five years and several delays later, Anish Kapoor’s mirrored sculpture was unveiled to the public this week, seemingly propping up Tribeca’s “Jenga Building” at 56 Leonard Street. As first reported by Tribeca Citizen, and confirmed by 6sqft, the longstanding barriers and scaffolding have been removed, with the monumental permanent public artwork taking its rightful place on the corner of Church and Leonard Streets.

When plans for Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard were unveiled in 2008, early renderings showed Kapoor’s sculpture in front of the building. After challenges concerning the welding and fairing process of the smooth, shiny sculpture added “a huge amount of time” to the installation, as 6sqft previously reported, construction began in February 2019, two years after 56 Leonard opened.

Like it did with most things, Covid halted progress. The sculpture remained a “half bean,” as described by Curbed, until the team was able to travel to New York from the UK in 2021.

This is the British-Indian sculptor’s first permanent public work in New York. While it remains nameless for now (an official dedication ceremony is expected in the coming weeks), the artwork closely resembles Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate,” which was installed in Chicago’s Millennium Park in 2004.

Sitting at the base of the 60-story tower, the bean (or squashed balloon) sculpture weighs 40 tons and measures 48 feet long by 19 feet high.

As described on 56 Leonard’s website: “The relationship between building and sculpture is so closely cultivated that they appear to form a single unified object, exemplifying true synergy between art and architecture.”

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All photos © 6sqft

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