APF Edition [TK], 2012


Digital Print on Mirrored Acrylic

32.00 x 44.00 in

81.3 x 111.8 cm

Edition of 20

    About The Work

    Josephine Meckseper's edition supports her monumental installation created in collaboration with the Art Production Fund.

    Manhattan Oil Project by Josephine Meckseper is the second installation at The Last Lot project space, on 46th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. In Manhattan Oil Project, Meckseper will present two new monumental kinetic sculptures, each standing 25 feet tall. These full scale sculptures are inspired by mid 20th century oil pumps the artist discovered in Electra, a boarded-up town once famous for being the pump jack capital of Texas.

    Each sculpture is fully motorized to simulate the motions of a working oil pump. Placed in a vacant lot next to Times Square, the black and red steel structures slowly creak in the ceaseless oscillations of phantom oil excavation. The pump jacks recall the ruins of ghost towns, forgotten monuments of America's decaying industrial past. This pairing of the pump jacks and the Times Square location merges a classic symbol of American oil production and wealth with the center of New York City commercial culture.

    "I hope to draw parallels between the American industrial system, transitioning from a past of heavy industry, factories, and teamsters and the disembodied present of electronic mass-media, surface advertising, and consumerism—so clearly embodied in Times Square," explained Meckseper, "The critical placement of the pumps is a conceptual gesture that raises questions about business and capital; land use and resources; wealth and decay; decadence and dependence."

    The oil pump sculptures formally refer to the large-scale kinetic sculptures of Jean Tinguely, Alexander Calder, and Mark Di Suvero. Yet, though mirroring the forms and materials of the mid-century oil industry, Meckseper locates her work firmly inside the contemporary debate about American business, wealth, and consumerism. The pumps are intended as ignition points for critical discussion engaged directly with modern life, as opposed to operating in the realm of disengaged abstract geometries. They evoke speculation about a functional reality and the notion of use value.

    Featured Video

    The Manhattan Oil Project from on Vimeo.

    About Josephine Meckseper

    • This work is framed. Frame measurements are 33.00" x 46.00".
    • Ships in 10 to 14 business days from New York.
    • This work is final sale and not eligible for return.
    • Questions about this work?
    • Interested in other works by this artist or other artists? We will source them for you.
    • Want to pay in installments?

    Contact an Artspace Advisor


    • Download the app.
    • Use the exclusive 'View in My Room' feature.
    • See how it looks on your own walls.


    a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.


    through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.


    authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.


    with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.


    Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.