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The Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX debuted this week three new public art commissions designed to greet departing and arriving passengers and provide a measure of calm and reflection amid the chaos of air travel.
The artists involved all have strong ties to Los Angeles — Mark Bradford, Pae White and the Ball-Nogues studio each resides or works in the L.A. area. Funds for the commissions came from the airport, with each installation budgeted at $1 million, according to Sarah Cifarelli, the art manager at LAX.
She said the airport participates in the city’s “1% for arts” program, under which developers pay an amount equal to 1% of the construction value, with the money going to public art. The recently unveiled installations are on view on a permanent basis, she said.
The Ball-Nogues Studio created a multicolor installation, titled “Air Garden,” located in the terminal’s Great Hall. The curtain-like suspension is made of approximately 90 miles of metallic chain, but the piece has a light, airy feeling.
“We imagined this space as a kind of reprieve or garden where people could rest their minds as they moved through the building,” said Benjamin Ball of the studio in an interview, adding that the work can be interpreted as a three-dimensional painting. “The project is meant to be seen from a variety of angles.”
He added that the abundant light in the atrium inspired the piece and allows the colors to play off each other. […]