Described variously as a lighter-than-air suspension of time and an “elated, optimistic ‘Goodbye’” to millions of air travelers departing New York, a 4,600-pound monumental sculpture by Dimitar Lukanov titled “Outside Time” was unveiled in late February at John F. Kennedy Airport’s Terminal 4.

The sculpture, which resembles a million tiny air currents made visible, is the first of three commissioned to the Bulgarian sculptor, now based in Brooklyn, by JFK International Air Terminal, LLC. The commission is  part of the major redevelopment that Terminal 4 is undergoing to accommodate the 15 million passengers who pass through it every year. JFK International Air Terminal, LLC is the first private, non-airline company to be selected by the Port Authority of NY & NJ to operate a terminal at JFK.

Outside Time is a veritable drawing in space, a breathless, effortless, instantaneous gesture in the air,” according to Lukanov.

“The piece aspires to halt, even momentarily, the relentlessness of time, to indeed be ‘Outside Time,’" wrote Lukanov, anticipating the sculpture's unveiling. "I do transparent sculptures that converse with nature. The bronze and iron used in my work long for permanence, but the forms and illusions are ephemeral. The end result of my sculpture is an abbreviated script of matter dissolved within the air.”

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Dimitar Lukanov with his sculpture “Outside Time” at JFK's Terminal 4 building.

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Lukanov built the piece by eye and to scale over an eight-month period; no computer programs were used to map out the design development of the massive structure, which is 30 feet long, 15 feet tall and 11 feet wide. The piece was constructed using 1,000 feet of steel and aluminum tubing and 600 steel and aluminum elements. In line with the sculptor’s vision, 90 percent of the piece is essentially “airborne,” originating from a hollow triangular base to counterbalance its weight.

Alain Maca, President of JFKIAT, LLC, believes the sculpture will provide “a tremendous visual experience for the millions of air travelers who will walk through Terminal 4.” The piece, he says, “distinguishes Terminal 4 and will serve as a stunning centerpiece of our new departure area.”

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'Outside Time" by Dimitar Lukanov

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Born in 1969 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Lukanov has been an American citizen since 2003. He studied art on a full scholarship in Paris and New York, receiving his MFA from Columbia University in 1997. He is the recipient of numerous grants including: Pollock Krasner, David-Weill funding, Soros Open Society, Skowhegan Fellowship, ArtCultureStudio, and Invited Artist International Art Fair, Shanghai and Moscow, among others. He is a member of Chile Association of Painters and Sculptors.

The artist has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York City, Paris, Moscow, Miami, Mexico City, Milan, Monaco, Chicago, Shanghai, Santo Domingo, Casa de Campo, Washington DC, Beacon NY, Plovdiv, Sarasota and elsewhere. His work is included in a number of private and public collections.

Fluent in five languages, Lukanov lives in Brooklyn and works in his studio in Schoharie County, New York, where he executed this project. The second and third sculptures of his JFKIAT commission are scheduled to be installed in Spring 2014. www.dimitarlukanov.com

Terminal 4 is one of the largest air terminals in the New York area, serving 30 international and domestic airlines with an annual passenger volume of nearly 11 million travelers in 2012. With a major expansion currently underway to make Terminal 4 the new home of Delta Air Lines at JFK, the 1.5 million-square-foot Terminal 4 will increase in size to nearly 2 million square feet and accommodate 15 million passengers. www.jfkiat.com.

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"Outside Time" by Dimitar Lukanov

"Outside Time" by Dimitar Lukanov

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