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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.

2009

Manhattan

Les Lalanne on Park Avenue
September 12, 2009 to November 20, 2009
Park Avenue, between 52nd and 57th Streets, Manhattan

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

Description:
Parks’ public art program, in conjunction with Paul Kasmin Gallery, and in cooperation with the Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee, presents the first-ever large-scale outdoor exhibition in the U.S. of Claude & Francois-Xavier Lalanne’s sculptures. Seven sculptures and a single work comprised of 12 individual sculptures span multiple sites on Park Avenue between 52nd and 57th streets.

Featured works include Pomme de New York by Claude Lalanne (b.1924), a large-scale bronze sculpture of an apple, epitomizing the monumentality of the city’s iconic image (located on the North side of 52nd Street), and Francois-Xavier Lalanne’s (1927–2008) last sculpture, Singe Avise (Tres Grand), a cross-legged monkey with a pensive expression (located on the North side of 57th Street).

Having rediscovered the Renaissance art of casting forms from life, then employing contemporary electro-plating techniques, Claude Lalanne achieves a delicacy and sensitivity in her work unparalleled in cast bronze. Francois-Xavier Lalanne similarly found inspiration for his works in nature. In his words, "The animal world constitutes the richest and most varied forms on the planet." His subjects consist of stylized forms of animals, their profound simplicity achieving streamlined elegance.

The Lalanne’s work, known individually and collectively since the 1960s, has been exhibited extensively in important exhibitions, and most recently, featured prominently in the sale of the collection of Yves Saint Laurent, at Christie’s.

Bill Beirne, Madison Square Trapezoids

Bill Beirne, Madison Square Trapezoids
October 13, 2009 to October 31, 2009
Madison Square Park
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

Description:
In Madison Square Trapezoids, acclaimed performance and video artist Bill Beirne, in his role as The Vigilant Groundsman, turns the quotidian acts of horticultural maintenance and wildlife documentation into aesthetic actions by performing absurdist variations of these routines centered around specially-designated zones of artistic inquiry.​

Julie Farris and Sarah Wayland-Smith, <em>Clearing in the Streets</em>, 2009 Photo courtesy of the Public Art Fund

Julie Farris and Sarah Wayland-Smith, A Clearing in the Streets
May 22, 2009 to October 1, 2009
Collect Pond Park, Manhattan

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

Description:
A Clearing in the Streets is an urban viewing structure that provides a glimpse of a natural habitat in a city setting and demonstrates, in real time, how landscapes evolve. This ten–sided plywood structure is punctuated with viewing slots that reveal an idealized meadow of wildflowers growing among a panoramic mural of a vast blue sky. Starting from seeds and young plants, the meadow will flourish over the duration of the piece turning into a lush native habitat.

This is a project of the Public Art Fund.

Richard Woods, wall and door and roof<br/>
Photo by Seong Kwon, courtesy of Public Art Fund, © Richard Woods, courtesy of the Public Art Fund

Richard Woods, wall and door and roof
July 2009 to September 2009
City Hall Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

British artist Richard Woods' wall and door and roof whimsically transform various structural elements at City Hall. Cladding the property's two security booths with a printed facade of cartoon–like red bricks, Woods draws on his native vernacular, which identifies this design as an inexpensive architectural style. The visually dynamic work dramatically juxtaposes the historic architecture of City Hall with ordinary building materials. Woods' faux renovation continues inside City Hall on a set of lobby doors. Covering the doors in a printed graphic that is a replication of itself, the artist creates an optical illusion. Woods includes all of the ornamental details of the original to produce a heightened and flattened sense of reality.

This is a project of the Public Art Fund.

John Morton, Central Park Sound Tunnel

John Morton, Central Park Sound Tunnel
June 10, 2009 to September 10, 2009
Central Park, Manhattan

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

Description:
Avant–garde composer John Morton's rich sonic collage, Central Park Sound Tunnel, resonates in the pedestrian tunnel between the Central Park Zoo and Children's Zoo adjacent to 5th Avenue. Beginning every half–hour with the ringing of the Delacorte chimes, this 20–minute, six–speaker sound installation incorporates field recordings made in Central Park over the last year. Randomly generated selections of ambient sounds such as horses clopping, baseball games, sprinklers whirring, and birds are woven together to form complex ever–changing compositions that echo through the cavernous tunnel. The installation runs every day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Read more and listen to sound samples from the exhibit.

Jessica Stockholder, Flooded Chambers Maid

Jessica Stockholder, Flooded Chambers Maid
May 1, 2009 to August 15, 2009
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

The Flooded Chambers Maid is anchored by a 1300-square-foot arrow-shaped platform sprawling across the northern end of the park's Oval Lawn. The platform—a wildly colorful and intricately–patterned combination of custom cut and colored industrial steel and molded fiberglass grating—emerges from a shock of colored rubber mulch to spread itself across the lawn, enveloping a tree and stretching to reach the pathway surrounding the Oval Lawn.

The platform's dynamic pop colors spill from the edge of the platform and Oval Lawn across the bordering pathway, leading to an equally colorful staircase and viewing platform installed on one of the smaller adjacent lawns. From this elevated perspective, visitors are invited to view the installation’s garden: swaths of bright flowers and boldly colored plastic bins and buckets that sweep across the small adjoining lawn.

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

Nathalie Pham & Avani Patel, America's Chinatown Voices

Nathalie Pham & Avani Patel, America's Chinatown Voices
June 9, 2009 to August 8, 2009
Columbus Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

America's Chinatown Voices consists of 80 panels mounted on the fence encircling Columbus Park. Local voices, ideas, stories, images, and statements will be painted by the artists on these wood panels. Every weekend throughout the summer, the artists and volunteers will come to repaint many of the panels with new comments and thoughts, renewing each artwork.

To rouse community support and participation, the slogan has been created, which means “A Gathering of the Arts in Chinatown,” or “yi wei tang ren jie.” This is a rare opportunity for the community to see and hear itself, to create images to reflect itself, and to rally the community to come together and express what is important to them.

To add stories or images to this rotating exhibition please log on to the America's Chinatown website.

This project is organized and sponsored by the Asian American Arts Centre.

Big Bronze Walking Eye Flower, 2009

James Surls, James Surls on Park Avenue
March 14, 2009 to July 24, 2009
Park Avenue Malls
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan

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

Description:

James Surls is an internationally renowned artist known for creating monumental wood and metal sculptures. Based on natural forms, Surls’ constructions are created using his own iconic imagery of diamonds, vortexes, needles, and flowers. The New York City Parks Public Art Program is pleased to present an exhibition of seven large-scale bronze and stainless steel sculptures that will line the Park Avenue Malls from 50th Street to 57th Street.

East Texas-born James Surls has been based in Colorado since 1998. His artwork has appeared in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions. Surls was given the Living Legend Award by the Dallas Visual Art Center in 1993 and is currently represented by the Charles Cowles Galley, the Gerald Peters Gallery, and the Barbara Davis Gallery.

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.

Kyu Seok Oh, Renka.

Kyu Seok Oh, Renka
May 16, 2009 to June 8, 2009
Montefiore Square, Manhattan

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

Description:
Renka is a massive reclining figure created from hundreds of strips of wood. Inspired by his mother, Kyu Seok Oh created this piece as a symbol of all women. This installation is a collaboration between the Harlem School of the Arts, the West Harlem Art Fund, and the artist Mr. Oh.

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