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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.

2011

Manhattan

Katherine Daniels, Tenkenas Sash at Randall's Island Park

Various Artists, Flow.11: Art and Music at Randall’s Island
July 1, 2011 to November 2011
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

​FLOW, a two-part environmental art exhibition, will be on view during the summers of 2011 and 2012 along the shoreline at Randall’s Island Park. The project is aimed at fostering appreciation of the shoreline through artistic expression, while calling visitors to interact with and care for the Park’s island environment. FLOW.11 – this year’s inaugural exhibition - features five site-specific art projects: Resident Alien by Andrew Chan; Tenkenas Sash by Katherine Daniels; Hello There, Walking Away From It Ain’t No Fun by Jongil Ma; Hey Poseidon by Gregory Reynolds; and Point of View by Romy Scheroder.

FLOW.11 will be open to the public in conjunction with Bronx Calling! The First AIM Biennial, at the Bronx Museum and Wave Hill. Additional grand opening events and celebrations are planned for Labor Day Weekend, in tandem with the Electric Zoo.
This exhibition is presented by Randall’s Island Sports Foundation, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Bryan Hunt, Hoodoo, Courtesy of Parks Art & Antiquities

Bryan Hunt, Bryan Hunt on Park Avenue
August 29, 2011 to November 18, 2011
Park Avenue, 52nd Street-57th Street
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

​Hunt’s ten-work survey of his Waterfall sculpture series will be the largest and most ambitious outdoor display of his work to date. This retrospective grouping, spanning from 1977 to 2006, brings the outdoor sculpture series, for which he is best known, together for the first time.

Bryan Hunt’s cast bronze and aluminum Waterfalls are the physical outcome of decades-long pursuit to capture water as a found object and sculptural element, frozen and abstracted from nature. His study of water allows him to explore sculptural casting processes as much as natural waterfall compositions. In the 1970s, Hunt became captivated by the sensuality of traditional sculpture by artists like Auguste Rodin, and was inspired to similarly mold and model his works, a deviation from the Minimalist trends of the time. Cast from models in chiseled plaster and wet clay, Hunt’s sculptures are made from molten metal which, as it hardens, simulates arrested water.   His sculptural cascading forms give, in Hunt’s words, “liquid a tangible form”.

In 2006 Parks & Recreation unveiled Hunt’s permanent outdoor public sculpture entitled Coenties Ship, part of Hunt’s “airships” series. This twenty-one foot tall sculpture, fabricated from stainless steel and glass, is located at Coenties Slip Park in lower Manhattan.  On behalf of the City and New York, he also designed commemorative pieces from World Trade Center steel later given to families of the victims of 9/11.

Exhibitions on Park Avenue are presented with the Sculpture Committee of The Fund for Park Avenue.

Atelier Bow-Wow, BMW Guggenheim Lab rendering, View from Houston Street, Courtesy of the BMW Guggenheim Lab

BMW Guggenheim Lab
August 3, 2011 to October 16, 2011
Houston Street and 2nd Avenue
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

​Part urban think tank, part community center and public gathering space, the Lab is conceived to inspire public discourse in cities around the world and through the BMW Guggenheim Lab website and online social communities. The theme for the first two-year cycle of the BMW Guggenheim Lab is Confronting Comfort. In New York, Berlin, and Asia, the Lab will explore how urban environments can be made more responsive to people’s needs, how people can feel more at ease in urban environments, and how to find a balance between notions of modern comfort and the urgent need for environmental and social responsibility.

The public is invited to attend and to participate in free programs and experiments at the Lab, designed by architects Atelier Bow-Wow. In addition, the BMW Guggenheim Lab website and social communities provide opportunities for participants around the world to engage with and to contribute to the ideas and experiments generated by the Lab.

This project is presented by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and BMW. For more information please visit the BMW Guggenheim Lab website. 

Rob Pruitt, The Andy Monument, 2011, Photograph by James Ewing, Courtesy Public Art Fund

Rob Pruitt, The Andy Monument
March 30, 2011 to October 2, 2011
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
Union Square is one of New York City’s most active social, cultural, and commercial centers. It is home to many well-known monuments, including statues of George Washington and Mahatma Gandhi. From 1968 to 1984 it was the location of Andy Warhol’s Factory, where he and his collaborators reinvented the conventional artist’s studio, producing silkscreen paintings, films, music, books, magazines, and more. With his Union Square Factory as a creative hub, Warhol became synonymous with the Downtown art scene.

Inspired by Warhol’s art and life, Rob Pruitt (b. 1964, Washington DC) created The Andy Monument as a tribute to the late artist. It stands on the street corner, just as Warhol did when he signed and gave away copies of Interview magazine. Pruitt’s sculpture adapts and transforms the familiar tradition of classical statuary. The figure is based on a combination of digital scanning of a live model and hand sculpting, its surface finished in chrome, mounted on a concrete pedestal. It depicts Warhol as a ghostly, silver presence: a potent cultural force as both artist and self-created myth.  As Rob Pruitt observes, “Like so many other artists and performers and people who don’t fit in because they’re gay or otherwise different, Andy moved here to become who he was, to fulfill his dreams and make it big. He still represents that courage and that possibility. That’s why I came to New York, and that’s what my Andy Monument is about.”

This is a project by the Public Art Fund and NYCDOT’s Urban Art Program.

stillspotting nyc, image courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum

Arvo Pärt and Snøhetta, To a Great City, part of stillspotting nyc
September 15 to 18 and September 22 to 25, 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
5 locations around Lower Manhattan
Check-in at Battery Park across from 17 Battery Place
Battery Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

​For the second edition of stillspotting nyc, a two-year multidisciplinary project that takes the Guggenheim Museum's programming out into the streets of New York City, composer Arvo Pärt and the architects at Snøhetta collaborate on a series of "stillspots" around Lower Manhattan that explore the special relationship between space and sound, ten years after the September 11 attacks. For this work, entitled To a Great City, the architects at Snøhetta have selected five spaces that will transport visitors from the hustle and bustle of the streetscape to an elevated and tranquil urban experience. At each location, visitors will experience music and sound installations by Arvo Pärt framed by unexpected spaces along the periphery of Ground Zero that quietly celebrate the city, from an underground chamber at Governors Island, to otherwise inaccessible spaces in landmark skyscrapers.

Tickets: $10, $8 members. Includes map, directions, and wristband, which allows for access to each location. Full self-guided tour takes up to three hours. Advanced registration strongly recommended.

For tickets and more information, visit stillspotting.guggenheim.org.

Create your own stillspot
Where do you find peace and stillness in the city? The Guggenheim invites you to identify and plot your own areas of quiet and respite on an interactive Google map for stillspotting nyc. Create your own stillspot and discover new ones throughout New York City, and the world.

Follow @Guggenheim and the #stillspottingnyc conversation on Twitter.

This exhibition was made possible through generous support by the Guggenheim Museum.

Hester Street Collaborative, <em>Mall-terations</em>, photo courtesy of Hester Street Collaborative

Hester Street Collaborative, Mall-terations
October 1, 2010 to Summer 2011
Allen Street Malls, Manhattan, Manhattan

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

Description:

Steinunn Thorarinsdottir, BORDERS
March 24, 2011 to September 8, 2011
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
​Thórarinsdóttir ‘s BORDERS features twenty-six androgynous, life-size sculptures, thirteen aluminum and thirteen cast iron, which extend throughout the park from First to Second Avenue on East 47th Street. This will be the park’s largest exhibition to date and the first exhibition to incorporate the entire park.

BORDERS was created specifically for Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza and directly responds to the park’s design and infrastructure, as well as the United Nations headquarters located at the eastern end of the park.

Thórarinsdóttir’s figures, standing along the main park corridor and seated on park benches, mirror each other in silent conversation and form unseen borders that visitors are welcome to cross—serving as ambassadors between sculptures. The exhibition addresses humanity and cultural diversity, an exceptionally appropriate theme for one of the most culturally and politically active sites in all of New York City.

This exhibition was sponsored by Scott White Contemporary Art, Friends of Dag  Hammarskjöld Plaza, the Consul General of Iceland in New York City, the Icelandic Embassy in Washington, D.C., The Icelandic Ministry of Culture, the Icelandic Art Center,  Iceland Naturally, Visit Iceland, Visit Reykjavik and Eimskip Shipping Company.

Eva Rothschild, Empire

Eva Rothschild, Empire
March 1, 2011 to August 28, 2011
Doris C. Freedman Plaza, 60th St and 5th Ave
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
​In Empire, her first public art commission in the United States, Irish artist Eva Rothschild (b. Dublin, 1971) has created a monumental, multidirectional archway. Responding to the site, a point of transition between city and park, Rothschild has taken inspiration from the naturally arching canopy formed by Central Park’s mature trees. The linear structure takes root at ten points on the plaza, touching down lightly as its branching form rises above us.

Empire creates a physical tension between its imposing volume and its spidery, intersecting elements, which are further broken up by irregular bands of color. With its pulsing visual energy, the sculpture suggests multiple images — perhaps the tail of a broomstick or a bolt of lightning. We are free to make our own associations. Rothschild’s chosen title, Empire, resonates with the location of her new work: the heart of the “Empire State.” At the same time, we might consider the sculpture as a playful counterpoint to the architectural tradition of the monumental arch, a structure often used historically to represent the triumph of an imperial power.

This is a project by the Public Art Fund.

Jaume Plensa, Echo, Photograph by James Ewing

Jaume Plensa, Echo
May 5, 2011 to August 14, 2011
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

Description:
Jaume Plensa, born and based in Barcelona, is one of the world’s leading contemporary sculptors. Working in a wide variety of materials, Plensa has invigorated the practice of figurative sculpture with works that examine the intersection of the human form, language and communication and global citizenship. He was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1993, among many other honors. His public art installations are particularly renowned, and include the legendary Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millenium Park. Plensa’s 2011 commission for Madison Square Park will constitute his long-awaited New York City public art debut.

Echo, Plensa’s project for Madison Square Park, is a monument to everyday people in the form of a 44’ fiberglass-reinforced plastic sculpture of the head and neck of a young girl, the nine year-old daughter of a restaurant proprietor near Plensa’s home in Barcelona. Plensa’s sculpture, made from white-pigmented fiberglass- reinforced plastic with a crushed marble gel coat, is sited on the central Oval Lawn of Madison Square Park. Its monumental size and vertical orientation reflect the architecture surrounding the park, while the visage of the sculptor’s subject exudes a welcoming tranquility perfectly suited to this cherished urban oasis.

This is a project by Mad. Sq. Art.

Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/ Zodiac Heads, courtesy of Daniel Avila

Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads
May 4, 2011 to July 15, 2011
Pulitzer Fountain
Grand Army Plaza, Manhattan

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

Description:
Internationally acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei has re-interpreted the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan, an imperial retreat in Beijing. Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads is the artist’s first major public sculpture project.

Designed in the 18th century by two European Jesuits serving in the court of the Qing dynasty Emperor Qianlong, the twelve zodiac animal heads originally functioned as a water clock-fountain, which was sited in the magnificent European-style gardens of the Yuanming Yuan. In 1860, the Yuanming Yuan was ransacked by French and British troops, and the heads were pillaged. In re-interpreting these objects on an oversized scale, Ai Weiwei focuses attention on questions of national identity, looting and repatriation, while extending his ongoing exploration of the “fake” and the copy in relation to the original.

Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads at the Pulitzer Fountain will be accompanied by a pendant exhibition at the Arsenal Gallery, located on the third floor of the Arsenal Building (Central Park at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street, 212-360-8163), which will give viewers additional background on the Chinese zodiac fountain-clock that inspired Ai Weiwei’s work, and the emperor who commissioned it.

For more information visit www.zodiacheads.com .This is a project by AW Asia.

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