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An Architectural View

Two exhibitions and a book


Their original watercolors and photographs and revealing text redefine the coffee table book.

—The New York Times


In September 2013 Rizzoli USA published our eighth book, Central Park NYC: An Architectural View, of which The New York Times wrote, “… the artist-authors Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams explore the park’s multitude of overlooked smaller structures, statues, benches and bridges. Their original watercolors and photographs and revealing text redefine the coffee table book…”

Central Park NYC contains over sixty original watercolors and Rizzoli’s publisher, Charles Miers, gave us extraordinary freedom to craft the book as we saw fit, with full control over all aspects of content and design, and thus the volume has a strong unity of vision.

The book sprang from our exhibition Central Park, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of the park’s creation, held at Didier Aaron, Inc. in October 2003. To celebrate the book’s publication, Didier Aaron, Inc. hosted a second exhibition of new watercolors created for its pages, Central Park NYC, in October 2013.

The watercolors combine the conventions of architectural presentation—the use of projected shadow to give three-dimensionality to scaled elevational drawings—with a highly realistic technique. When combined with precise draftsmanship and the isolating effect of a white ground, this intense realism focuses the eye and paradoxically tends to abstract the object depicted. This is readily apparent with the life-sized elevation of the iconic New York City trash basket, today in the collection of the New-York Historical Society.

A series of dramatically large watercolors, chosen for their inherent graphic power, depict such familiar landmarks as the majestic Bow Bridge and the graceful Obelisk, or Cleopatra’s Needle (pictured at right) which measures over six feet tall.

Central Park Obelisk