Suburban Swimming Pool To Stand Upright At Rockefeller Center

The artist duo who brought a Prada to a Texas desert will bring a swimming pool to Rockefeller Center next month.

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset created the piece, called “Van Gogh’s Ear,” which will be on view April 13 through June 3. The exhibition comes from the Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer, the real estate giant that owns Rockefeller Center.

Per the Public Art Fund’s exhibition announcement, the artists designed this juxtaposed representation of a suburban backyard pool as a descendent of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades. PAF writes:

Elmgreen & Dragset render the pool devoid of function via its displacement, and in turn, prompt a simultaneously more cerebral, poetic, and aesthetic approach to the actual object as well as its setting.

Take a look:

van gogh's ear

“Van Gogh’s Ear” rendering, Elmgreen & Dragset. Courtesy of the artists and Public Art Fund.

In a statement, PAF director Nicholas Baume called Elmgreen and Dragset “masters of the unforgettably uncanny object.” Their resume includes “Prada Marfa,” the aforementioned semblance of a Prada store on a Texas roadside, and a number of pool-themed pieces such as “Death of a Collector.”


James Evans, “Prada Marfa” photograph. Source:

“Van Gogh’s Ear” is one of two conspicuous installations coming from the PAF this summer. Last month, the organization announced that a 25-foot-tall rotating neon sculpture reading “UNDERSTANDING,” by Martin Creed, will come to Brooklyn Bridge Park in May.


“Work No. 2630 UNDERSTANDING” rendering, Martin Creed. Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise.