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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.

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Photo credit: Kate Newby, All parts. All the time. Courtesy of the artist.

Kate Newby, All parts. All the time.
April 14, 2012 to April 29, 2012
Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
​Kate Newby’s work is often developed as an intervention in public space. All parts. All the time. engages two sites, Olive St. Garden and Cooper Park, both within blocks of ISCP in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Using semi precious and industrial materials to create an embedded concrete puddle in the center of Cooper Park, as well as hanging porcelain chimes and a concrete rock bench Olive St. Garden, Newby engages with the conditions of lived space, intervening in these specialized locations. ​

As with past works, Newby’s installations are developed in response to everyday built environment; carpets, windows and curtains, steps and passageways. Each gives evidence to the space as an inhabited or occupied site, but can also be used to interrupt, reconsider or challenge the unspoken norms of an environment or situation.

This exhibition is presented by the International Studio & Curatorial Program.

Virginia Overton, Untitled
September 12, 2012 to September 2013
Stacked Parking at West 20th Street
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Brooklyn-based artist Virginia Overton is known for her sculptures that incorporate raw materials and found objects, often using and re-using elements until they naturally decay. For High Line Art, Overton will transform an old pickup truck into a sculpture installed on the stacked parking next to the High Line at West 20th Street.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

El Anatsui, Broken Bridge II
November 2012 to Spring 2013
Western Wall between West 21st and West 22nd Streets
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

El Anatsui, the celebrated contemporary artist based in Nigeria, is known for his monumental wall tapestries, which are intricately composed of metallic bottle caps culled from discarded Nigerian liquor bottles and woven together with copper wire. For High Line Art, the artist will present a newly-configured installation of Broken Bridge, a monumental drapery made of pressed tin and mirrors, which will hang on an outdoor wall adjacent to the park. Composing a stunning visual of wave-like patterns and folds, the work will reflect the surrounding landscape and mark the artist’s first outdoor installation in the United States.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line.

Roberto Franzone, Red Arches, courtesy of NYC Parks & Recreation

Art Students League, 2nd Annual Model to Monument (M2M)
June 22, 2012 to May 2013
59th to 72nd Streets
Riverside Park South, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

In its second consecutive year, The Art Students League of New York’s “Model to Monument” program will return to Riverside South with seven new sculptures designed by its students. These accomplished artists, though quite varied in their chosen themes and media, are addressing the over-arching theme of flux.  This emerged naturally during the course of discussions about what the participating artists find unique and inspirational in the public space of Riverside Park. Included in the exhibition are Sequoya Aono, Roberto Franzone, HakSul Lee, Damien Armondo Vera, Olga Rudenko, Michael Cloud Hirschfeld, and Renata Pugh.

A collaborative installation created by the team is also on concurrently on view in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The sculpture titled, Mask, by M2M’s previous roster, has been altered- revamping the object into a new work they call, BioMask- a more tree like version of last year’s monumental sculpture.

This work was made possible by the Art Students League’s Model to Monument Program and the Riverside Park Fund.

Robert Sestok, First Street Iron, Courtesy of the artist

Robert Sestok, First Street Iron
April 20, 2012 to April 20, 2013
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
Robert Sestok spent most of his career living and working in downtown Detroit, Michigan, which greatly influenced his artistic methods. As part of Detroit’s Cass Corridor arts community, a vibrant movement of artists, musicians, poets and writers during the 60s and 70s, Sestok frequently used found objects and other non-traditional materials, tearing things apart and reconstructing them. This deconstructivist process reflected the reality of the city at the time, and can still be seen today.  Though hailing from the Motor City, Sestok frequented New York throughout his life and stated that First Street Iron is “a tribute to my past associations with the city of New York.”

This ten-foot-tall, welded steel sculpture will be placed in the formerly inaccessible property at 33 First Street acquired by New York City’s Parks & Recreation the in 1935. Since 2008, First Street Green (FSG) has worked with Parks Department to revitalize the fallow lot adjacent to First Park—with the goal to remove the rubble and create a plaza and cultural space. The lot was fully renovated with a newly stabilized and paved plaza, landscaping and cast-iron fencing in 2011 when the park hosted the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a three-month temporary pavilion and public forum in which a varied range of cultural activities occurred.  During this period 55,000 visitors attended—reinforcing First Street Green’s original observation of a strong need and broad interest in an ongoing cultural space open for public use.

This exhibition is presented by First Street Green.

Tomoaki Suzuki, Carson from Lilliput, courtesy of the High Line,  Photo by Austin Kennedy

Various, Lilliput
April 19, 2012 to April 14, 2013
Throughout the High Line
The High Line, Manhattan

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

Description:

Lilliput will reflect on the traditional role of public art by offering a counterbalance to the monumental scale often employed for plaza sculptures and other outdoor installations in public spaces. As the first project in the HIGH LINE COMMISSIONS series for spring, 2012, Lilliput will feature miniature sculptures installed in unusual and unexpected places at the High Line – amongst the vegetation and along the pathway – to create an art treasure hunt for visitors. Lilliput takes its title from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, conjuring a magical world populated by fairy tale creatures, mysterious idols, and dreamlike landscapes.

Lilliput will feature installations by six artists from around the globe:
Oliver Laric, Alessandro Pessoli, Tomoaki Suzuki, Francis Upritchard, Erika Verzutti, llyson Vieira

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line.

A still from a previous work by Aran. 'Moon,' 2007. Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise.

Uri Aran, Untitled (Good & Bad)
April 19, 2012 to April 14, 2013
Between West 25th and West 26th Streets
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

For the High Line, Uri Aran presents a sound work that explores how we use personification and animal metaphors to define human behavior in our daily conversations. Working with a professional voice actor who uses a formal, slightly affected pronunciation, Aran has created a sound track that will emanate softly from the planting beds below the elevated pathway on the High Line between West 25th and West 26th Streets. The sound track features the actor reading a list of creatures, from common ones, like the household cat and the spider, to more wild ones, such the platypus and the shark, each described as “good” or “bad.” Serious and at times comical, the expressionless tone of the actor’s voice will clash with the definition of these creatures as either “good” or “bad,” sparking dialogue about the arbitrary nature of classification in language.

“Uri Aran’s imaginative works have always amazed me,” said Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator and Director of High Line Art. “I look forward to watching visitors experience this installation and how they react to it as they walk along the High Line.”

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line.

Courtesy of NYC Parks.

Malcolm D. MacDougall, Microscopic Landscape
June 14, 2012 to March 31, 2013
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:

Sharing a natural dialogue with Union Square at the vibrant nexus of New York City is Malcolm D. MacDougall’s sculpture, Microscopic Landscape. The 24 foot, 7,500 lb work “is about potential energy and pushing a stagnant object as close to perceived movement as possible.” The constant motion found in Union Square is a microcosm teeming with diversity that defines the city, finding its inspiration in the multifaceted structures of the sculpture, and in turn inspiring this artist to observe activities as seen on the molecular level. The sculpture serves as a snapshot of the ongoing activity in the neighborhood; it is a static object that maintains the constant anticipation of movement, just as the grounds of Union Square provide the framework for the energetic flow of people and commerce. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Union Square Partnership.

NYC Parks

Thomas Houseago, Lying Figure
May 18, 2012 to March 14, 2013
At Little West 12th Street
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
Known for using materials like wood, clay, plaster, steel, and bronze, Houseago creates monumental sculptures that reveal the process of their making through unique details – the varying texture of a molding, the hidden creases within a cast – despite their imposing size and towering forms. His sculptures also incorporate drawing in the form of sketches on plaster and wood panels. Houseago’s work explores abstract lines and figurative forms, and in doing so he joins a long tradition of sculptors that spans from Giacometti to Picasso, engaging viewers with qualities that are at once impressive and enchanting.

For the High Line, Houseago presents Lying Figure, a 15-foot-long bronze sculpture of a headless giant resting on its elbows on the wooden rail ties between the High Line’s original rail tracks. As the third project in the HIGH LINE COMMISSIONS series for spring, 2012, Houseago’s Lying Figure will juxtapose Lilliput, the group exhibition that debuted on Thursday, April 19. Lilliput takes its title from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and conjures a magical world populated by fairy tale creatures, mysterious idols, and dreamlike landscapes. Houseago’s Lying Figure will introduce the presence of a giant – the park’s own Gulliver – into Lilliput’s diminutive sculptures installed along the park’s pathway and amidst the plants.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

Image courtesy of NYC Parks.

Monika Sosnowska, Fir Tree
October 24, 2012 to February 17, 2013
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

This 40-foot-tall steel sculpture by Monika Sosnowska marks the threshold between the urban environment of midtown Manhattan and the landscape of Central Park. The artist has used pulleys, cranes, and other heavy machinery to manipulate a spiral staircase to resemble an evergreen tree. No longer climbable, its stairs cascade around the central shaft of the sculpture like weighted tree limbs. The ribbon-like railing forms a twisting red line against the black silhouette of the sculpture. As if piercing the pavement with industrial force, Fir Tree (2012) conjures an image of skyscrapers with steel roots below the city.

For more than ten years, Sosnowska’s work has explored our psychological relationship to the built environment, creating complex installations that alter our perceptions of familiar objects and spaces. Based in Warsaw, Sosnowska often works with architectural elements associated with Eastern Europe during the Soviet period. Fir Tree echoes the industrial steel staircases found on the exterior walls of Polish housing blocks. Here, this once-functional object refuses to serve its intended purpose. Instead it becomes an animated and outsized metaphor, testing the bounds of a familiar form as it reaches toward the urban skyline.

This Exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

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