Current and Upcoming

The Way We Remember at the Wallach Art Gallery

September 10, 2021 - November 14, 2021
The Wallach Art Gallery, 615 West 129th Street New York, NY 10027

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and responding to a vibrant popular and academic debate about the role and function of public monuments The Way We Remember: Koenig’s Sphere, 9/11 and the Politics of Memory at The Wallach Art Gallery explores three distinct but interrelated themes surrounding the issues of public monuments; memory, trauma, postmemory; and the power of art to represent the past.

The Way We Remember opens with a focused examination of the German modernist sculptor Fritz Koenig’s Great Caryatid Sphere (1968–1972), which was originally created as a fountainhead and monumental centerpiece for the World Trade Center Plaza and became one of the earliest memorials of 9/11 after it emerged from the rubble of the collapsed Twin Towers—battered, bent, and scarred, but resilient and defiant in still standing upright where it was once placed between the now-collapsed twin towers.  

The Sphere provides a unique entry point for the exhibition section that tells the story of 9/11 through the lens of its first “unofficial” memorial, and the debates that resulted from the implementation of the World Trade Center memorial project and the inauguration of “Reflecting Absence” as an official National 9/11 Memorial.

The exhibition is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays with a reservation. Vaccinations are required for everyone over the age of 12. Check out the Wallach Art Gallery website to make a reservation. 

This exhibition was curated in collaboration with Columbia University graduate students Alison Braybrooks, Karen Hartnick, Kayla J. Smith, Qisen Song, Giovanna Suhl and Emily L. Wehby.