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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.

2008

Brooklyn

Ripple, Osman Akan
Photograph by Kelly Barrie

Osman Akan, The Third Bridge
October 14, 2007 to January 18, 2008
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn

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

Description:

The Third Bridge is a site-specific work of fiber optic grass fields temporarily surrounding the pathways of Brooklyn Bridge Park on the East River waterfront near the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The artist uses the site’s location, between the two physical bridges, to comment on the concepts of technology and network. This project marks the first of a series of solo commissioned works in a new program, Outer Space, being developed by the Dumbo Arts Center.

Osman Akan was born on the Black Sea coast of Turkey and since 1997 has lived and worked in the United States.

Presented by the Dumbo Art Center (dac).

Courtesy of artist

Anne Peabody, Fallen Nest
October 1 to January 11, 2008
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

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

Description:

New Yorkers are incredibly resourceful when it comes to carving out niches for dwelling, says artist Anne Peabody. Fallen Nest was inspired by the current proliferation of new housing in Brooklyn. The work is an enormous representation of a paper wasps’ nest that is lying on the ground as if fallen from a tree. In the fall, wasps abandon their elaborately built homes for more substantial shelter in winter.

Peabody holds a BFA from Washington University, St. Louis, and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. A native of Kentucky, she lives and works in Brooklyn. Her work has been shown in Louisville, Kentucky and New York City. This is her first public art project.

The work is located at the corner of Washington and DeKalb Streets. This project was made possible with funding from Forest City Ratner Companies.

Courtesy of the artist

David Hardy, Field Display #2
October 1, 2007 to January 5, 2008
Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

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

Description:

David Hardy was thinking about the experience of looking at art when he made Field Display #2. At first glance, the sculpture looks like a familiar structure built to shelter information on a forest trail: a wooden display standing on two boxy legs with a shingled roof. Inside, a claw-footed goblet of unknown origin sits behind glass, and outside, planted in front, are two blue galoshes, empty except for lumps of black sludge. “I was thinking of the movie Repo Man, in which a man just explodes, leaving his boots behind,” says the artist. “I wanted to address the problem of public art and ‘the art experience,’ where the anticipation of the event is often so much more than the event itself. But what if the event itself was the cause of excitement?”

New York-based David Hardy has a BA from Brown, an MFA from Yale, and completed the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture program. His work was exhibited in group exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, SculptureCenter, and in P.S.1’s Greater New York. He has had solo exhibitions of his work in Sweden, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Funded by Forest City Ratner Companies.

Manhattan

Fritz Koenig, The Sphere. Photo by Malcolm Pinckney, NYC Parks.

Fritz Koenig, The Sphere
March 11, 2002 to Present
Battery Park, Manhattan

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

Description:
Fritz Koenig's The Sphere, a 45,000 pound sculpture made of steel and bronze, adorned the fountain at the World Trade Center's Tobin Plaza from 1971 to September 11, 2001. Bent and damaged, but still recognizable, the sculpture has been relocated to Battery Park, where it stands as a powerful temporary memorial commemorating the lives of those lost in the World Trade Center attack and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. On September 11, 2002, a dedication was held to officially recognize the artwork as an interim memorial and to light an eternal flame in memory of those lost.

The Sphere is on long-term loan from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Media Advisory

Robert Melee, Her Leaving, 2008
Photo by Seong Kwon, courtesy of Public Art Fund

Robert Melee, Robert Melee
December 19, 2008 to June 2009
City Hall Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

The current exhibit by Robert Melee features immense forms that while amorphous and featureless, seem familiar in their generalized characteristics and poses–slouching, sitting, pointing, standing upright–but also retain a haunting sense of disguise and alluring somberness. Melee began creating figurative sculpture in 2005, and these four outdoor bronze sculptures, presented together for the first time, represent some of his most recent work.

To construct these forms, Melee starts with mannequins to establish the basic human figure, and then works to blur recognizable details with abstract forms by adding built armatures and covering most of the features with canvas and plaster. He then casts the sculptures in bronze and drips and splatters the sculptures with brightly colored enamel paint. The results are works of art that unite formal characteristics of painting and sculpture: three-dimensional objects with a surface area that underscores the materiality of the paint.

This is a project of the Public Art Fund.

Christian Jankowski, Dali Woman, 2006-2007.
Photo by Seong Kwon, courtesy of Public Art Fund. Courtesy Regan Projects, Los Angeles; Galerie Martin Klosterfelde, Berlin, and Lisson Gallery, London.

Christian Jankowski, Living Sculptures
November 24, 2008 to May 27, 2009
Doris Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

Christian Jankowski's Living Sculptures consists of three bronze sculptures inspired by the tradition of professional street performers who pose motionless as historical or fantastical figures for spectators to photograph. Specifically these works draw inspiration from three street performers Jankowski observed and selected from a public thoroughfare in Barcelona, who regularly present themselves as the likenesses of a Roman legionnaire who refers to himself as “Caesar,” the revolutionary leader Che Guevara, and an enigmatic woman inspired by a figure known as “The Anthropomorphic Cabinet Woman,” created by artist Salvador Dali.

Jankowski's sculptures are, in essence, statues of people performing as statues. Representing modern day figures, both real and imagined, they are exceptionally life–like, though solid bronze in their composition. Their human scale and figurative representation beckon viewers to come close, consider whether they are real people, pose next to them for photos, and perhaps even leave a few coins in appreciation.

This is a project of the Public Art Fund.

Eleanora Kupencow, The Arrows of Time

Eleanora Kupencow, The Arrows of Time
July 2008 to March 2009
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan

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

Description:
Eleanora Kupencow’s colorful figures are made from cut, painted steel. For the title, the artist borrowed a term from natural science. Coined in 1927 by British astronomer Arthur Eddington, an “arrow of time” specifies the direction of time on a four-dimensional relativistic map of world.

Tadashi Kawamata, Tree Huts

Tadashi Kawamata, Tree Huts
October 2, 2008 to February 15, 2009
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

Tadashi Kawamata creates complex and chaotic architectural growths of raw lumber, found objects, and construction scraps that bloom around the park’s trees. His artistic practice is finely attuned to the site’s physical characteristics and is organic and improvisational.

Kawamata has made an international reputation by fashioning humble materials and found objects such as untreated lumber, chairs, barrels, and construction scraps into poetic and transformative interventions into public space. His “Project on Roosevelt Island” (1992), in which Kawamata surrounded the island’s derelict Smallpox Hospital building with a massive and complex web of simple wood scaffolding, remains one of the most well known and highly regarded solo public art works in New York City’s history. Tadashi Kawamata was born in 1953 on the Japanese island of Hokaido, and he currently lives and works in Japan.

This project is organized and sponsored by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Mia Westerlund, Battenkill (detail)

Mia Westerlund, Battenkill
July 15 to December 4, 2008
Thomas Paine Park
Thomas Paine Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

Mia Westerlund's Battenkill is an urban oasis at Thomas Paine Park. The sculpture, named for a river in Vermont, is formed by an open circular stucco wall that beckons park visitors to the ample seating area along the inside of the wall. Running water bubbles along the curving rim of the sculpture's wall. The fountain is a first for the artist, and a second will be shown this fall indoors. This project is supported by Betty Cuningham Gallery.

Mia Westerlund has been exhibiting since the early 1970's. She has received several prestigious awards, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and a Fulbright Fellowship. Her work can be found in numerous public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and at the Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY, where her work is permanently installed. A native of New York, Mia currently divides her time between New York City and her studio in upstate New York.

Dylan Mortimer, Public Prayer Booths

Dylan Mortimer, Public Prayer Booths
September to November 24, 2008
Tramway Plaza, Manhattan

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

Description:

Dylan Mortimer’s work deals with how private faith functions in the public realm. The interactive Public Prayer Booth is a synthesis of a telephone booth and a prayer station. The viewer can flip down a kneeler and engage in prayer.

“My goal is to spark dialogue about a topic often avoided, and often treated cynically by the contemporary art world,” says Mortimer. “I employ the visual language of signage and public information systems, using them as a contemporary form of older religious communication systems: stained glass, illuminated manuscripts, church furniture, etc. I balance humor and seriousness, sarcasm and sincerity, in a way that bridges a subject matter that is often presented as heavy or difficult.”

The artist is based in Kansas City, and is a recent graduate of NY’s School of Visual Arts Masters (MFA) program.

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