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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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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.

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.

Oscar Muñoz,Re/trato
October 25, 2012 to December 12, 2012
High Line Channel 14, 14th Street Passage, on the High Line at West 14th 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:

One of Colombia's most influential artists, Oscar Munoz has created an impressive body of work that investigates memory and history, and the ways both intertwine with our contemporary society. In Re/trato, a human hand paints a man's portrait on a concrete sidewalk by using a brush and water. Reflecting on the ephemeral nature of identity, the work highlights the liminal space between remembering and forgetting, between an image and its obliteration.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

Krzysztof Wodiczko,Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection
November 8, 2012 to December 9, 2012
South of Pavilion
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:

The voices and images of recent veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as Vietnam veterans, animate the historic bronze commemorative statue of Abraham Lincoln that has stood silently in Union Square since 1870. The sculpture by Henry Kirke Brown (who also sculpted the George Washington at the park's south plaza), was commissioned by the Union League Club, in the wake of the president's assassination, as a lasting testimonial.

Wodiczko interviewed 30 veterans or their family members over the course of several months for Abraham Lincoln, and used 14 taped conversations about their war experiences and the toll of duty on their family life. These points of views, presented in each person's own words, voice, and gestures, are projected via sound and light onto the figure of Lincoln.

The project is organized and sponsored by More Art.

Tatzu Nishi,Discovering Columbus
September 20, 2012 to December 2, 2012
Columbus Circle
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Public Art Fund invites you to experience New York City’s iconic statue of Christopher Columbus as never before. A new public artwork opening this September in Columbus Circle allows visitors to get face-to-face with the statue, more than 70 feet above the ground, in a contemporary living room designed by the Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi.

Learn more and reserve your free passes to visit.

Paul McCarthy, Daddies Ketchup, 2001, Inflatable, Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Photo Courtesy of Public Art Fund

Various Artists,Common Ground
May 23, 2012 to November 30, 2012
City Hall Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

From the monuments of ancient Egypt to the Statue of Liberty, public art has been a means to represent a society’s beliefs, values, and ideals. However, in our own diverse and pluralistic culture, we tend to value art most highly as the expression of a unique individual vision. Common Ground brings together the work of ten international contemporary artists, each with a strikingly original artistic language and a strong engagement with its civic context and traditions.

Several works in the exhibition create a dialogue with the history of art, finding contemporary metaphors in classical forms. Over time, such forms have lost much of their original authority, yet they continue to resonate for artists today. The civic monument, long dominated by representations of the heroic male, is reinvented through the use of abstraction, irony, and satire. The democratic notion of public space as a forum for ideas is explored through text, objects, and performance. The role of the artist becomes a theme in works that imply both the transience of life and the timelessness of art. Together, these very different works remind us that contemporary art offers us both opportunities for personal reflection and shared moments of collective expression.

Artists include:  Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset; Ian Hamilton Finlay, Roger Hiorns, Jenny Holzer, Matthew Day Jackson, Christian Jankowski, Justin Matherly, Paul McCarthy, Amalia Pica, and Thomas Schutte.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Lu Chun-Hsiung and Michel Kang, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, 2011, Columbus Park, courtesy of CCBA

Lu Chun-Hsiung and Michel Kang,Dr. Sun Yat-sen
November 12, 2011 to November 12, 2012
Columbus Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
​To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Republic of China, New York’s Chinese-American community has erected a statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Chinese revolution in 1911. Dr. Sun lived in America and visited New York City a number of times before the Revolution. In fact, in the months leading up to the Revolution, he lived in New York City’s Chinatown where he finalized the plans for the Revolution and delivered an important speech at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) in March 1911.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) government donated the statue to the community.  Designed by Mr. Lu Chun-Hsiung, famous Taiwanese sculptor, the statue was manufactured in Taiwan.  The Chinese-American community in New York City graciously contributed donation for the base of the statue, designed by local architect Michael Kang.

This project is proposed and managed by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) of New York.

Architecture for Humanity,The Urban Web
October 21, 2012 to November 5, 2012
Pike Street and Monroe Street
Coleman Playground, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Architecture for Humanity has installed a “pop-up exhibition” at Coleman Oval coinciding with the neighborhood’s newly upgraded skate park. Colorful nylon rope has been has been woven around the trees and fence to create an interesting new visual and architectural space for pedestrians and park visitors to enjoy.

This Exhibition is presented by Architecture for Humanity.

Thomas Baryle,American Dream
October 1, 2012 to October 31, 2012
Billboard next to the High Line at West 18th Street and 10th Avenue
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:

A pioneer of Pop and Conceptual Art in West Germany in the 60s and 70s, Bayrle investigates the power of images in the context of advertising and mass iconography. For HIGH LINE BILLBOARD, Bayrle will present American Dream, an illusionistic image of a classic Chrysler sedan. This prolific artist has exhibited internationally and has returned to New York in monumental format that truly suits his sensibility.

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

Cinthia Marcelle,Selected Works
September 14, 2012 to October 13, 2012
High Line Channel 14, 14th Street Passage, on the High Line at West 14th 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:

Brazil-based artist Cinthia Marcelle uses video and photography to document her interventions with the order of things found in everyday life. For HIGH LINE CHANNEL 14, Marcelle will present a selection of films that challenge our notions of conventional behavior by introducing humorous coincidences and connections.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

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