Edmund de Waal
an alchemy, 2019
Porcelain, steel, gold, and plexiglass
© Edmund de Waal. Courtesy the artist and The Frick Collection. Photo: Christopher Burke
Here we are in the fabulous library of the Frick. If you look in the center of this beautiful room, you'll see a library table underneath this magnificent clock and if you look very carefully, I've hidden an installation. It's called an alchemy. What I've done is to take away a dozen volumes of history of wealth that used to occupy this space and put in three vitrines holding black vessels, broken black shards and gold and pieces of steel. So, at the heart of this installation is the image of Frick, himself, transforming through alchemy, steel into money, steel into wealth. And of course, wealth into art. It's the great untold story in the heart of this building. So, I've taken away the books about wealth. I made an installation which tells that journey of steel into art.