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Art in the Parks

Through collaborations with a diverse group of arts organizations and artists, Parks brings to the public both experimental and traditional art in many park locations. Please browse our list of current exhibits below, explore our archives of past exhibits or read more about the Art in the Parks Program.

2005

Manhattan

Circle with Towers (courtesy of Madison Square Park Conservancy)

Sol LeWitt, Curved Wall with Towers and Circle with Towers
May 2005 to February 6, 2006
between 5th and Madison avenues, East 23rd and East 26th streets
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
Conceptual and Minimal artist Sol LeWitt has created two site-specific artworks for Madison Square Park. Circle with Towers is a three-foot high concrete-block ring punctuated by eight towers at equal intervals. Curved Wall with Towers is an eighty-five foot long curving wall with fourteen towers placed at equal intervals. The two pieces demonstrate LeWitt's career-long fascination with the cube as a modular unit.

LeWitt (born 1928, Hartford) has been the subject of hundreds of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries, including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Tate Gallery, London; The Kunsthalle, Bern; and the Stedelijk, Amsterdam. His work is represented in the collection of major museums worldwide.

Francisco Leiro, Speechless I-IV and Caracalla

Francisco Leiro, Speechless I-IV and Caracalla
June 2005 to November 30, 2005
Second Avenue & 47th Street
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
Five massive wrought-iron figures by Spanish sculptor Francisco Leiro grace the steps of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. These roughly-hewn, powerful images have their roots in the Galician sculpture of the artist's Spanish heritage. To these basic human forms Leiro adds abstract elements and surrealistic flourishes, expanding the works' narrative possibilities.

The exhibition was organized by the Instituto Cervantes, a nonprofit arm of the Spanish government that promotes Spanish culture internationally, in collaboration with the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, and with the support of Marlborough Gallery and The Consulate General of Spain in New York.

Herb Alpert, Totems

Herb Alpert, Totems
October 2005 to November 2005
Bryant Park, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
"Totems," six cast bronze sculptures at midtown's Bryant Park, are the creation of music icon and visual artist Herb Alpert (b. 1935). A legendary trumpet player, Alpert is renowned worldwide for his extraordinary career with the Tijuana Brass, as a solo jazz and pop artist, and as co-founder of A&M Records. His career as a visual artist has paralleled his life in music for over three decades. His "Totems" were inspired by the art of Native Americans.

"The tribes of Indians who lived in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska created a new language of art that I related to," Alpert said. The art making process, he says, is "like jazz. Art is a feel. I like to journey into the world where words don't exist."

Ewe Zadrzynska, Poland on the Front Page

Ewe Zadrzynska, Poland on the Front Page
September 28, 2005 to November 27, 2005
Broadway to 4th Avenue, East 14th to East 17th streets
Union Square Park, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
This exhibition marks the 25th anniversary of the Polish Solidarity movement. In the autumn of 1980, the Gdansk shipyard agreements between representatives of Polish society and the Communist government legalized the first self-governing trade union in the Soviet Bloc. This set in motion the processes that ultimately led to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communism, and the end of the Cold War.

The exhibition features reproductions of newspaper front pages and magazine covers of major American media from the decade between 1979 and 1989. Through their blend of bold headlines and dramatic photographs, these media images highlight a turning point in world history as seen through American eyes.

Kim Sillen Gledhill, Tile

Kim Sillen Gledhill, The Tile Project, Destination: The World
November 11, 2004 to October 31, 2005
between West 3rd Street & Bleecker Street
Mercer Playground, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
The Tile Project, Destination: The World is an international arts project currently being exhibited in 23 locations around the world, from Azerbaijian to Vietnam. The exhibition includes 120 four-inch tiles designed by 120 artists from forty countries. The tiles on view represent a diversity of artistic styles and approaches to materials. Participating artists created tiles in ceramic, glass, and metal and applied imagery using hand-painted glazes, photography and digital imagery, and three-dimensional molding to create small works that come together to form a larger international art collaboration. Mounted to the fence surrounding the park in back-to-back sections, the tiles can be viewed from the street and from inside the park. The project was organized by TransCultural Exchange, with support from UNESCO and other international partners. For more information about the project, including a complete list of artists, visit the TransCultural Exchange website.

Related Info: Press release

Bijou, model, 2004

Julian Opie, Animals, Buildings, Cars and People
October 28, 2004 to October 14, 2005
Broadway, Park Row & Chambers Street
City Hall Park, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
With nine installations in and around City Hall Park, this exhibition of sculptures by contemporary British artist Julian Opie will be the artist's most comprehensive U.S. solo show to date, featuring new commissions alongside some of his most iconic works. Succinct and colorful, Opie's graphic depictions of modern life portray the familiar physical world, from fashion models to farm animals, from skyscrapers to village churches. Opie distills his images from the world around him, rendering them in the universally recognizable style of commercial graphics. He reduces the thing at hand to its most essential lines and color planes. The resulting images – straightforward pictograms with bold lines, clean edges, and bright surfaces – read as clearly as traffic signs. Animals, Buildings, Cars and People was organized by Public Art Fund and sponsored by Forest City Ratner Companies.

Au Soleil (1978)

Rene Letourneur, Three Bronze Sculptures
March 8, 2005 to September 30, 2005
Broadway to 4th Avenue, East 14th to East 17th streets
Union Square Park, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
Three figurative bronze sculptures by French sculpture Rene Letourneur (1898 - 1995) now on view in Union Square Park include Au Soleil (1978), Les Trois Figures (1974-1978), and Harmonie II (1975). Letourneur was a member of the French resistance in World Wars I and II; later much of his work consisted of public art commissions. The exhibition is made possible by the New York Film Academy and the Union Square Partnership.

Janet Cardiff, Her Long Black Hair

Janet Cardiff, Her Long Black Hair
June 16, 2005 to September 11, 2005
59th Street & 6th Avenue
Central Park, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
A production of the Public Art Fund, Janet Cardiff's Her Long Black Hair is a 35-minute journey that takes each listener on a winding journey through Central Park's 19th-century pathways, retracing the footsteps of an enigmatic dark-haired woman. Relayed in a quasi-narrative style, Her Long Black Hair is a complex investigation of location, time, sound, and physicality, interweaving stream-of-consciousness observations with fact and fiction, local history, opera and gospel music, and other atmospheric and cultural elements.

Each person receives an audio kit that contains a CD player with headphones as well as a packet of photographs. As Cardiff's voice on the audio soundtrack guides listeners through the park, they are occasionally prompted to pull out and view one of the photographs. These images link the speaker and the listener within their shared physical surroundings of Central Park.

Her Long Black Hair is sponsored by Bloomberg LP with additional support from the James Family Foundation.

The audio kit for Her Long Black Hair is available at a kiosk at 59th Street and Sixth Avenue, Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Viewers will be asked to leave a drivers license or credit card in exchange for the audio equipment and should allow at least one hour for the walk. For more information, visit the Public Art Fund website.

Chinatsu Ban, V W X Yellow Elephant Underwear / H I J Kiddy Elephant Underwear

Chinatsu Ban, V W X Yellow Elephant Underwear/H I J Kiddy Elephant Underwear
April 2005 to August 29, 2005
Doris C. Freedman Plaza, 5th Avenue at 60th Street
Central Park, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
Japanese artist Chinatsu Ban (born 1973) creates acrylic paintings and sketches of elephants and human figures that float on a blank rice-paper background or in front of candy-colored stripes. V W X Yellow Elephant Underwear/H I J Kiddy Elephant Underwear is Ban's first foray into sculpture. For the artist elephants represent peace and safety, dating back to a small elephant figurine she owned as a child.

Cuteness is an obsession for Ban. The Japanese word for cute is "kawaii" and the word has taken on tremendous cultural resonance in recent decades; the Japanese teen magazine Crea noted that kawaii is the most widely used, widely loved, habitual word in modern living Japanese. From Hello Kitty to the pop duo Puffy AmiYumi, Japanese contemporary culture is satured with things kawaii. Anything can be made cute, even, in this case, a pile of elephant poop.

This installation was organized by the Public Art Fund and the Japan Society, as part of an exhibition curated by Takashi Murakami called Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture.

Beverly Pepper, Horizontal Wedge

Beverly Pepper, Horizontal Wedge
May 1, 2005 to August 20, 2005
Between 52nd & 53rd Streets
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:
Park Avenue is graced by renowned sculptor Beverly Pepper's mighty Horizontal Wedge (1991), which features a sheet of weathered steel held aloft by a two-part steel pedestal.

Ms. Pepper is a native New Yorker. In the past decade, she has installed site-specific environments and monumental sculpture in Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Lithuania, along with traveling shows across Europe and the U.S. Her sculpture, widely exhibited in the public realm since the 1960s, has included a 1983 installation in Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park. She has had solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, Forte Belvedere in Florence, Italy, and the Palais Royal in Paris and Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. Her sculpture is in public collections around the world, including those of the Walker Art Center, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Florence Museum of Art, and the Barcelona Museum of Modern Art.

Related Info:

Press Release

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