Red, Yellow and Blue

DeCordova Exhibits
Click images for larger view
On View Nov 01, 2013 - Sep 14, 2014
Exhibition Location: Sculpture Park


2011 Rappaport Prize recipient Orly Genger's monumental installation Red, Yellow and Blue is among deCordova’s largest and most ambitious installations to date. Originally commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York City, where it was on view during the summer of 2013, Genger’s project is a notable collaboration for both MSPC and deCordova, as it marks the first collaboration between the two institutions.

Red, Yellow and Blue features Genger’s renowned usage of hand-knotted, paint-covered rope, configured in bright, undulating walls in three primary colors that wind through deCordova’s 30-acre lawn, pathways, and hillsides. At deCordova, the work is comprised of about 1 million feet of rope collected from the Eastern seaboard and 3,500 gallons of paint, weighing in at over 100,000 pounds. Red, Yellow and Blue is adapted from its initial presentation in New York City’s Madison Square Park to the contours of deCordova’s grounds. The miles of crocheted and layered rope articulate the topography of the Sculpture Park, reference the familiar low-lying stone walls that line the New England countryside, and offer fresh opportunities to engage with the landscape.

“For its second life at deCordova,” Genger notes, “I wanted to create a piece that would encourage visitors to travel through the Sculpture Park grounds as opposed to holding visitors in a space as it did in Madison Square Park. Like an elongated sentence meandering through the landscape, Red, Yellow and Blue will move and transition from ground to ground and color to color.”

Genger’s piece alludes to the work of modernist abstract painter Barnett Newman’s 1960s painting series Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?, and Minimalist sculpture by artists such as Richard Serra, Robert Morris, and Tony Smith. Genger’s installation, however, stands in sharp contrast to their industrially made, assertive monumental forms. The woven sculpture makes visible the thousands of hours of labor by a team of people to create a work not made by a machine. According to Genger, “I wanted to create a work that would impress in scale but still engage rather than intimidate. The tradition of knitting caries the sharing of stories and the installation draws on that idea.”

Credit and thanks:

Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, 2013 © Orly Genger, commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York, NY; loaned courtesy of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Larissa Goldston Gallery, and Orly Genger. Major funding for Red, Yellow and Blue at deCordova has been provided by Joyce Linde, Robert Scott and Diane Spencer, and Don and Jeanne Stanton. Additional funders include Linda Hammett Ory and Andy Ory, John and Susan Flahive, Tony and Amie James, Mary Levin Koch and Bill Koch, The Robert E. Davoli and Eileen L. McDonagh Charitable Foundation, and others who generously raised their paddles in support of the project at deCordova’s Party for the Park 2013.

Help make projects like this possible:

What Color Are You: Red, Yellow or Blue? Become a colorful contributor by making a gift to the annual fund. Your gift supports projects such as Orly Genger's Red, Yellow and Blue.


Follow along with Orly Genger in the making of Red, Yellow and Blue! Watch as the rope is transformed from its nautical origins into vibrant sculptural installations in New York’s Madison Square Park, and deCordova’s Sculpture Park.  Photographs courtesy of Laura Ludwig, Orly Genger, Laura Beshears, and Julia Moody.




Orly Genger is the recipient of the 2011 Rappaport Prize, founded by the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation to support the Foundation’s mission of promoting leadership in public policy, medical research, and art.

Born in 1979, Genger (represented by Larissa Goldston Gallery, New York) lives in New York City and works in Brooklyn. She received her B.A. from Brown University in 2001, and attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. She has served as a guest lecturer/visiting artist at MassArt, Museum of Arts and Design, Ohio State University, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, among others.

Genger’s recent solo exhibitions include Iron Maiden (2013) and Big Open Empty (2011) at Larissa Goldston Gallery (New York); and Whole (2008) at Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indiana). Selected group exhibitions include Sentimental Education (2011) at Gavlak Gallery (Palm Beach, FL); MATERIAL WORLD: Sculpture to Environment (2010) at MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA); and Energy Effects: Art and Artifacts from the Landscape of Glorious Excess (2010) at Museum of Contemporary Art (Denver, CO). Genger’s work has been featured in collections in several museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Hood Museum of Art, and Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Exhibition-Related Programs and Performances

All programs at deCordova are free with Museum admission.