A public garden & cultural center

Viviane Rombaldi Seppey

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pictured above: Open Sky, 2017, speakers and dried leaves, 15x 15 x 1 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Wave Hill. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Weaving together autumn leaves collected from the grounds, the artist constructed a bird’s nest, in recognition of the resident and migratory birds that make their home at Wave Hill. Each leaf is inscribed with the name of a bird and its country of origin. Two speakers are installed in the space above the nest, projecting the songs of local and migrating birds. Open Sky also offers a larger narrative about the migration of people, while underscoring Wave Hill’s character as an ideal environment for birds and a place of refuge along their journey.

Common Ground
Sunroom Project Space | August 28–October 11, 2010

Common Ground, 2010, plastic bags, acetate, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Viviane Rombaldi Seppey's site-specific installation Common Ground seeks to respond to both the Sun Porch's atmospheric natural light and to the seasonal shift of the landscape outside. For this piece, Rombaldi Seppey carefully assembled dozens of transparent, collaged panels, which she then applied to the many panes of the Porch's 11 windows. Made out of plastic bags, the panels employ a vivid autumnal palette of red, orange, purple and green. Rombaldi Seppey has outlined each shape precisely with thin, graphic strips of black plastic. When viewed as a whole, these bold areas of light and color coalesce into an organic, abstract composition that is inspired by the view of the Palisades from Wave Hill. 

Rombaldi Seppey often uses ordinary or found objects, such as phone books or maps, to create her work. By using plastic bags to create Common Ground, Rombaldi Seppey allows the viewer a measure of accessibiliity and intimacy with the work through the familarity of the material. At the same time, in transforming the bags into delivate collages, she asks that her audience reconsider the value of these once discarded objects, and how they interact with their environment. 

Preparatory design for installation
Common Ground (preporatory design), 2010, plastic bags, acetate, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. 

Exterior view of Common Ground
Common Ground (exterior view), 2010, plastic bags, acetate, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist website

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.