Cents Sign Travelling from Broadway to Africa via Guadeloupe
Settling in New York in 1955, Chryssa (born Chryssa Vardea-Mavromichali) was drawn to the creative energy of America’s ever-changing postwar cities. The Athens-born artist gained art-world acclaim with work that utilized innovative materials taken from urban environments. During the 1960s, she produced vibrant paintings, prints, and pioneered the use of neon tubing, Plexiglas, and aluminum in a fine-art context. Evoking Chryssa’s fascination with Times Square and celebrating the giant blinking, pulsing signs of the city, Cents Sign Travelling from Broadway to Africa via Guadeloupe acknowledges the interconnected world at a moment of global economic and technological growth.
Neon tubing, Plexiglas
43 x 35 x 28 1/2 in. (109.2 x 88.9 x 72.4 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Sidney Singer
This item is not on view
Chryssa (American, born Greece, 1933-2014). Cents Sign Travelling from Broadway to Africa via Guadeloupe, 1968. Neon tubing, Plexiglas, 43 x 35 x 28 1/2 in. (109.2 x 88.9 x 72.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Sidney Singer, 85.290. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 85.290_overall_PS11.jpg)
overall, 85.290_overall_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
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Can you please explain this work?
Chryssa is known for works in the neon like this. She was inspired by seeing Times Square on her first trip to New York in 1955. She is interested in the styles of communication that humans have created, beyond the simple writing of language and how language is depicted.
The title of this work, "Cents Sign Travelling from Broadway to Africa via Guadeloupe," and the use of a monetary symbol speak to the rapid globalization that was taking place in the mid-20th century.