"Zenith" is an elevator encasement at Americas Society’s New York headquarters portraying the highest point on the Equator

Zenith by artist Elena Damiani. (Image: Arturo Sánchez)


Americas Society Presents Permanent Art Installation Depicting the Chimborazo

Zenith is an elevator encasement at our New York City headquarters portraying the highest mountain in Ecuador.

December 14, 2022—Americas Society presents the inauguration of Elena Damiani's Zenith (2022) as a permanent art installation for the David Rockefeller Atrium of Americas Society’s New York headquarters on Park Avenue. Zenith was the winner of a 2014 contest among 17 different Latin American artists who designed commissions as part of an initiative to reinvigorate the 680 Park Avenue lobby.

“Given the nature of Americas Society, it is a unique opportunity to present my work to a broader audience,” said Damiani. “Hopefully, the new installation will be engaging to visitors presenting them with a landscape that evokes a history of representations of remote landscapes in the Americas, while drawing upon notions of mobilization, expansion, and exploration.”

Chimborazo, a mountain in Ecuador, is considered the farthest point on the Earth's surface from the Earth’s center since it is located along the planet’s equatorial bulge. Using archival imagery of the Chimborazo from the U.S. Geological Survey, the project shows the mountain printed on translucent fabric that wraps the elevator encasement and becomes the core of the space, visually engaging visitors as they enter.

The Peruvian artist was inspired by the title of Americas Society’s first institutional memoir, A Hemispheric Venture. Zenith represents Americas Society’s mission of gathering artists from the Western Hemisphere and places the equator, specifically Chimborazo, as a meeting point and intersection for the Americas.

“We are thrilled and honored to present this long-awaited installation that discusses the centrality of our region,” said Americas Society Visual Arts Director and Chief Curator Aimé Iglesias Lukin. "The work represents the hemispheric mission of Americas Society through the eyes of the amazing Elena Damiani.”

The encasement energizes the entrance of a historic building that was originally the residence of prominent New York financier Percy Rivington Pyne and, after World War II, the office of the Soviet Mission to the UN. In November 2022, the organization held a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the completion of a restoration of the landmark building at 680 Park Avenue. Learn about the restoration and the history of the building.

The installation was completed on Tuesday, December 6 and a celebratory dinner held on Wednesday, December 14.

Press contact: mediarelations@as-coa.org

Image caption: Zenith by artist Elena Damiani. (Image: Arturo Sánchez). Source imagery for artwork: Department of the Interior/U. S. Geological Survey