About the Project

Creative Time’s first installment of Art on the Plaza—a series of commissioned outdoor sculpture for The Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park City—featured American artist Jim Campbell’s first public sculpture in New York City, In Primal Graphics. This outdoor structure was composed of 386 light bulbs situated on two 10 × 13-foot grids and displayed a moving human figure, reminiscent of a shadow.


As viewers approached the installation, the figure not only lost form and became amorphous, but the light bulb grid and its rudimentary nature became exceedingly apparent. For Campbell, the shadow with its poetic simplicity evoked absence, the passage of time, and feelings of loss, while the figure’s dissolution alluded to the transience of images, illusions of technology, and most importantly, the necessity to question what is simply perceived with the eye.


Photograph by Charlie Samuels




Jim Campbell

Art on the Plaza 1: Primal Graphics 2002