Cade Tompkins Projects celebrates the opening of the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care

Feature on August 31, 2020

NEW YORK, NY.- Cade Tompkins Projects announced the curation of a collection of over 1,250 works of contemporary art within the new 25-floor, 730,000 square-foot building designed by architects Perkins Eastman. The building was designed to focus on patient care and family amenities, support services, as well as research and academic offices, all of which are contained in this multi-use building of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, located on the Upper East Side.


The art collection includes works by national and international emerging talent as well as important historic New York City based artists. The mediums range from monumental oil paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs.


 Location and Art History 

The themes which run through the collection are based on the iconic Milton Glaser “I NY” concept sketch from 1976 (Collection: The Museum of Modern Art) and the geological and geographical location of the building, both waterways and greenways. Situated directly on the East River and on the rocky island of Manhattan, surrounded by historic parks such as Carl Schurz, John Jay and Four Freedoms Parks, all of which were the inspiration for inclusion of the nature-based art. Additional themes of urban views and figures within the cityscape add to the energy of the collection as well as works that are abstract and meditative for areas that correspond with the interior design theme of restoration. Concurrently, we recognized the history of contemporary art in New York City with the advent of Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s, onset of Pop Art and experimental works in the 1960s and 1970s and current artistic practices that are such an important part of the fabric of New York City. 


The art collection was curated by Cade Tompkins Projects with the input of a selection of stakeholders, including lead doctors, nurses and administrators to whom we presented thousands of works of art by American as well as international artists. Working with the design team of MSK, the process was designed to be inclusive and educational for those who would be working in the building. This procedure, in turn, created a sense of ownership to the point of having the stakeholders become ambassadors for the collection over the years. Additionally, Cade Tompkins Projects provided all of the informational content for the digital art tour which will launch in 2020. This digital tour allows patients and visitors to learn more about the major works of art on view with content that includes a direct artist quote, short biography and links to the artists’ websites. 


Power of Art 

Art as a healing agent was recently supported by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) report published in November 2019 entitled What is the evidence of the role of the arts in improving health and wellbeing? A scoping review (2019). This new report covers two decades of research and draws from 3000 studies. The report concludes the positive synthesized global evidence of the role that the arts have in improving the health and well-being of patients. 


Art, at its very best, emotes energy and positivity. It reminds us that we are part of a larger universe. It takes the viewer from one point of view to another, both visually and mentally. Looking at art can be transformative, peaceful, intellectual, and restful. Taking time to look and consider art removes us from the everyday and refreshes one’s psyche. Most importantly, it reminds us that we are human.

September 1, 2020
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