A First Look at 'Up Close: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel'
Posted on 06/23/2017
When Michelangelo first painted the Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace during 1473, he probably would not have remotely imagined that photographs of his magnificent tour de force would find a place in a modern building in New York City.
(Of course, New York City didn't exist back then either.)
The exhibit Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel will debut in the Calatrava-designed The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center on Friday, June 23 and will run through July 23, giving New Yorkers and tourists the chance to see the great artist’s work up close and personal.
Frescoes reproduced in near-original size line the walls of this beautiful, airy, lit-from-within building, and are taken by Austrian photographer Erich Lessing who printed them through a unique process on cloth. Visitors will have the opportunity to gaze at 34 color-rich pieces on the ground floor level, including The Last Judgement.
Some are 11 feet tall while the Last Judgement is 40 x 40 feet, almost startling the viewer with its theme and intensity of subject matter. Visitors will be also able to see The Creation of Adam, the unforgettable fresco illustrating God and Adam’s fingertips almost touching.
“We wanted the Sistine Chapel exhibit to be accessible to as many people as possible,” said Scott Sanders, Westfield’s Creative Head of Global Entertainment, in a phone interview. “Calatrava would say that the Oculus was his cathedral,” he said, implying that the venue was fitting.
Throughout his career, Lessing has covered several political and social events, and has had a distinguished photography career under his belt for over 50 years. He has taken photographs of several well-known European works of art, including Raphael's Sistine Madonna, da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Manet's Olympia.
Through a collaboration with the Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives and Art Resource, the artistic site Artstor made available more than 13,000 images of world art and architecture from the photographer’s archives, in 2014.
Tickets for the exhibit start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.westfield.com/upclose or in person. The exhibit’s hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
Following the show at the Oculus, there will be a six-week exhibit at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, from September 1 to October 15, followed by a run in six cities: Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago and Annapolis.
PHOTO: Up Close: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel runs June 23-July 23 at The Oculus. in New York City. (photo courtesy of Erich Lessing and SEE Global Entertainment)