Elena Damiani's Zenith at Americas Society

By Luisa Leme

The Peruvian artist explains the concept for her permanent art installation in the David Rockefeller Atrium at 680 Park Avenue in New York.

Elena Damiani's Zenith (2022) is 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.

In this video, Damiani, a Peruvian artist, explains the concept for the encasement, how it relates to the mission of Americas Society, and the way the site-specific installation changed her process as an artist. "It's really is about reflecting on this territory of the past, these explorations that were done in the past, these remote landscapes. And there's a history of representing remote landscapes in the Americas," the artist explains. 

Chimborazo, a mountain in Ecuador, is considered the farthest point on the Earth's surface from its 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. 

Learn more about Zenith and the project.
Watch the series of videos about the contest here.
Learn about the restoration and the history of the building.