Sculpture by Jordan Griska
Organized by Harry Philbrick and Tina Plokarz

Shimmering like a crystal and splintered into thousands of reflective pieces of stainless steel, Wreck by Jordan Griska simultaneously evokes both luxury and mortality. Philadelphia Contemporary is pleased to present this multifaceted, life-size sculpture by the New York based artist before its installation in a private collection. The car is a non-functional representation of the latest model of a Mercedes Benz S550, fragmented into highly polished pieces of stainless steel. The sculpture mirrors the peak of today’s automobile industry by using digital technology and meticulous handcraft to subvert both utopian dreams and reality. Spectacular and haunting, Wreck captures the dual nature of American culture by contrasting wealth, freedom, and individuality with decadence, debauchery, and tailspin, as flip sides of the same coin.

Wreck will be exhibited in Pier 9, a 93-year-old warehouse extending onto the Delaware River, located across Columbus Boulevard from Fringe Arts and next to Race Street Pier. The building is lit by natural skylight and floor-to-ceiling shutters, which will be rolled up on both sides to allow direct sunlight and reflections from the Delaware River into the rough industrial structure and onto the glittering car. The optical contrasts between the aging marine building and the digitally-designed vehicle raise challenging questions about the history of industrialization and technology, human mobility in the urban landscape, and art in the context of digitization, DIY, and public monuments. Griska carves out an evocative testament of hubris that carries echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glamorous and decadent novel, The Great Gatsby.

Jordan Griska, Wreck. Image by Emily Belshaw, 2016
Jordan Griska, Wreck

Jordan Griska lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA from the University of Pennsylvania and his Certificate in sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). In Philadelphia he is best known for his work Grumman Greenhouse (2011), a sculpture depicting a crashed military airplane that doubles as a functioning greenhouse. Griska received international recognition as SOCRATES Sculpture Park: Emerging Artist Fellow (2014) and with the International Sculpture Center: Outstanding Student Award (2008).

Visit the Image Gallery for this project.
Watch our interview with Jordan Griska for our Project Interview series below:


Wreck is kindly supported by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.