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Urban Helix

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DNA molecules seem to float in and out of an imaginary urban grid on a wall of glass in New York. Also in the mix are glowing atoms, blue robot-humans, and pink suspension-bridge wires.

The art, made of enamel on glass, is called Urban Helix. Susan Kaprov created the 54-foot-long installation for a lobby at the Polytechnic University in Brooklyn.

Susan Kaprov. Urban Helix, 2002. 8 ft x 54 ft, fired enamel on glass. Commissioned for Polytechnic University/MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY.

Urban Helix merges images from genomics and other sciences with a futuristic urban environment. “We’re trying to make the learning of science a real adventure,” says Kaprov, who lives in New York.

Detail of Urban Helix.

The images are not painted on glass. After they were designed on a computer, the Franz Mayer glass factory in Munich “translated them into fired enamel on glass.” The artist spent several months in Germany to oversee the project, which took over a year to complete.

Detail of Urban Helix.

The artist has created several large installations for public spaces. She’s now at work on a 100-foot-long digital mural to cover “a wall that curves in and out like a particle moving through space” for the Connecticut State Commission on the Arts in Hartford.

An interactive version of Urban Helix can be viewed here.

To see more artworks by Susan Kaprov, visit the artist’s Web site.

All images courtesy Susan Kaprov.

— Birgit Reinert

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