By Patrick Rocchio
Artist Daniel Hauben, who has captured Bronx images on canvas over a 30-year career, will soon have 22 pieces at his art hanging permanently in the new Bronx Community College Library.
The installation includes two larger panels which will adorn the main stairwell of the new library, called the North Instruction Building and Library, when it opens in the spring, and 20 panels will hang over the information commons or main reading room, Hauben stated. The images depicted include street scenes of recognizable places around the borough, including the Kingsbridge Armory, Burnside Avenue, Bronx Community College’s campus and Hall of Fame, five different scenes of elevated trains, the Amalgamated Houses, Harlem River, Hudson River, Macombs Dam Bridge, and views of the Harlem River and the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.
The six-figure commission for Hauben, an artist who has garnered national and international attention, started out as a plan to create mosaics for the library, Hauben said. But when the decision called for painted images instead, Hauben said he couldn’t have been more delighted. Hauben loves paiting borough landscapes, he said.
“I think that I am drawn to landscape and strive to create a sense of depth and distance in order to make a world on canvas,” Hauben stated.
The paintings are oil on Belgian linen, and while the current plans for the grand opening of the library are still to be announced and do not include any detailed mention of the artwork that will beautify the new building, an open house showcasing the paintings in the installation will likely occur in the summer or fall, Hauben stated.
Initial plans on the installation were reviewed in the spring of 2008, and the paintings were finally finished towards the end of 2011. They are currently in Hauben’s Riverdale studio, awaiting installation.
The artist recently painted the interior of the Arthur Avenue retail market at 2344 Arthur Avenue, and his work over three decades includes street scenes and landscapes around the borough, but also places abroad, including Berlin, Germany.
“It has been a journey,” Hauben stated. “This kind of symbiosis between artist, environment, and community will resonate.”
Hauben’s work hangs in prestigious art collections around the world, including those at the White House, New York Historical Society, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Montefiore Medical Group, Pepsico, Harvard University, Rutgers University, and the New York Public Library.