On June 14, in his Manhattan studio, Peter Max unveiled a commemorative artwork for the 2017 U.S. Open, honoring the 20th anniversary of Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City.
In 1997, Max created the U.S. Open’s artwork for the stadium’s inaugural season. Twenty years later, he’s working with the US Tennis Association (USTA) and prepping his palette and paints again.
While both artworks showcase Max’s signature graphic style, each uniquely highlights the history and development of the stadium. In 1997, Max highlighted the stadium’s exciting future by depicting the structure underneath a swirling sky of warm colors. In 2017, he depicts two large tennis rackets crossing each other’s path above the stadium, signifying the heated competition of the last Grand Slam event of the year.
— Ash Marshall (@AMarshallSport) June 14, 2017
“We could not think of a better way to kick off the 20th anniversary of Arthur Ashe Stadium than by ‘returning to the source’ and having Peter Max create another signature work that truly captures the power of tennis’ grandest stadium,” Katrina Adams, USTA president and chairman of the board, said in a press release.
While the 23,000-person tennis arena still reflects its initial design, Arthur Ashe Stadium has stayed up-to-date with the times. In 2016, a retractable roof was added in order to eliminate rain delays and prevent postponements. The retractable roof is featured prominently in Max’s 2017 U.S. Open artwork, suggesting that both art and scenery change with time.
“I remember the artwork from 20 years ago that the great Peter Max did for us,” said USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Smith. “It was iconic and so many people loved it. So what better thing to do than go back and ask Peter Max to do it again for us 20 years later.”
This adds to a string of impressive commissions coming from Peter Max. He has created four poster images for the Grammy Awards, in addition to being the official artist for five Super Bowls, World Cup USA, and NHL’s All-Star Game.