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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.

2013

Manhattan

Frank Benson, Human Statue (Jessie), 2011. Photo by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Busted
April 1, 2013 to March 30, 2014
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:

High Line Art is pleased to announce Busted, the HIGH LINE COMMISSION that includes figurative sculptures, celebratory portraits, and commemorative monuments installed on and around the High Line. Featuring nine acclaimed international artists, Busted will be on view from April 2013 to April 2014.

Drawing its inspiration from the dedicatory sculptures that punctuated the streets of ancient Rome, Busted plays with the popular tradition of urban monuments and civic landmarks that have defined public spaces for centuries. Who are today's heroes and who does the public expect to see memorialized in monuments? Busted will raise some of these questions by bringing together a group of artists who are questioning the tradition of commemorative sculpture and the format of the celebratory monuments. The invited artists will touch upon – at times with levity and sense of humor – issues of democracy, taste, and representation of the self in the public space.

Busted will feature nine international artists including: Frank Benson, Steven Claydon, George Condo, Mark Grotjahn, Sean Landers, Goshka Macuga, Ruby Neri, Amalia Pica, and Andra Ursuta.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

Iran Do Espirito Santo, Playground, courtesy of NYC Parks.

Iran do Espirito Santo, Playground
September 10, 2013 to February 16, 2014
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:

One of Brazil’s most highly regarded contemporary artists, Iran do Espírito Santo (b. 1963) is known for his austere yet sensuous drawings, wall paintings, and sculptures. Playground is his first public work in the United States. At first glance it looks like a massive cube made from large stone blocks – but with a number of blocks missing at the corners. On closer examination it becomes evident that the work hasn’t been constructed out of individual elements but rather cast in stone-like concrete as a unified form. We see that the “mortar” is exactly the same as the “block” itself and that the entire sculpture is consistent in color, texture, and finish. The “missing” corner elements were never there but are instead deliberately composed openings that allow transparency and access to the interior space.

Do Espírito Santo speaks of the work as a kind of “idealized ruin” that is also a metaphorical playground. As a child the artist loved to play with building blocks. Given its architectural materials and oversized scale, Playground is a bit like a blown up cartoon image of a child’s fantasy building. At the same time, the artist has created a subtle and elegant play between perception and reality, construction and destruction, and between idealized form and everyday objects and materials.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Courtesy of Madison Square Conservancy

Giuseppe Penone, Ideas of Stone
September 26, 2013 to February 9, 2014
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Three 30-foot tall bronze trees by renowned Italian artist Giuseppe Penone are now installed in Madison Square Park. Ideas of Stone (Idee di pietra), featuring Penone’s signature manipulation of the trees’ natural forms, will interact with the park’s lush landscape to highlight the relationships amongst man, sculpture and nature. The installation will remain on view daily from September 26, 2013 through February 9, 2014 in Madison Square Park.

Throughout his 40–year career, Penone has employed natural materials and forms in an exploration of the contrasting and fundamental relationships between man and nature. Penone was a member of the Italian Arte Povera movement, which was comprised of artists who sought to dissolve divisions between art and life by using commonplace subjects and materials in their work. Trees as living sculpture is a recurring theme for Penone. He often manipulates these natural forms by twisting, deconstructing, hollowing, and uprooting the organic figures. He incorporates traces of fingerprints, nails, wires, carvings, and precariously placed boulders as remnant evidence of the sculptures’ manmade composition and the effect of human interaction with the natural world. Penone addresses concepts of weight, balance, and scale, while merging the manmade and the organic.

This exhibition is presented by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Courtesy of NYC Parks

Cracking Art Group, REgeneration Project
December 10, 2013 to January 4, 2014
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:

Four giant red snails created by the Cracking Art Group have been placed around the famous Christopher Columbus monument at Columbus Circle, Manhattan. Curated by owner and director of Galleria Ca’ d’Oro, Gloria Porcella, the exhibition will last through January 6th, 2014. The eight foot snails are part of the REgeneration Art Project and are made of recyclable plastic obtained from landfills. The Cracking Art Group is committed to social and environmental concerns, and an innovative use of different recyclable plastic materials. Before arriving to Columbus Circle, the snails had been displayed in Central Park’s Rumsey Field and could also be found at the famous Italian food market Eataly.

This exhibition is presented by Galleria Ca’ d’Oro and Villa Firenze Foundation.

Daniel Buren, Suncatcher, Courtesy of the Public Art Fund

Various Artists, Lightness of Being
July 25, 2013 to December 13, 2013
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:

Lightness of Being is a new group exhibition featuring a multigenerational, international group of 11 artists whose work displays a playful and irreverent attitude toward the formal ideals of classical sculpture. The artists featured in the exhibition are Cristian Andersen, James Angus, Daniel Buren, Olaf Breuning, Alex Hubbard, Evan Holloway, Alicja Kwade, Sarah Lucas, Ugo Rondinone, David Shrigley, Gary Webb, and Franz West.

At once lighthearted and enigmatic, the works in this show incorporate an engaging sense of play and wry humor. Everyday objects shift in scale to become larger than life or lose their functionality altogether; art historical references are transformed with a sense of wit and whimsy; and brightly colored objects and unusual forms bring a sense of levity. On view through December 13, 2013, the exhibition features new commissions, major works being shown publicly in New York for the first time, and a weekly performance.

The exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Watch It's My Park Minute: Art in City Hall Park

Lina and Gus Ocamposilva Dancers of the Wind courtesy of the artists

Lina & Gus Ocamposilva, Dancers of the Wind
June 26, 2013 to November 2013
East River Park Promenade
John V. Lindsay East River Park , Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Lina & Gus Ocamposilva’s inaugural New York City public art exhibition Dancers of the Wind, will be on view along the East River Park Promenade from June 26th through November 2013. Three twelve-foot colorful sculptures will be placed on a grassy lawn along the promenade near the baseball fields just south of the East 10th Street foot bridge.

The exhibition will express the passion, movement, magic and poetry of the human body, and will also represent the freedom of the human soul. Each dancer in this exhibition is different and unique, but echoes its partners. Inspired by ballet steps (the grand jete, adagio and arabesque), the Ocamposilvas have immortalized the poetry of form, the landscape of the human body and its capacity to challenge the forces of gravity. Abstract and figurative, classic and contemporary, Gus and Lina Ocamposilva’s sculptures are made of strong aluminum, but appear soft and fluid. The bended forms incorporate tubes, exposed bolts, stippled texture and brilliant yellow, cobalt blue, teal and red coloring. These dancers appear to move gracefully in the wind along the East River promenade.

Courtesy of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Interboro Partners, Rest Stop
July 20, 2013 to November 30, 2013
Pier 42, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council invited artists and design professionals to participate in a community-driven, site-responsive design process for the temporary activation of Pier 42 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Artists and designers were asked to propose ideas for cultural activity including temporary public art, small-scale interventions, programming and event spaces that directly engage the site and community in which the pier is located.

Interboro Partners (Project Team: Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca, Georgeen Theodore, Rebecca Beyer Winik, Charlene Chai, Andrew Coslow, Michaela Friedman, Riley Gold) is a Brooklyn-based office of progressive and innovative architects, urban planners, and designers formed in 2002 by three graduates of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Their work is marked by creative, outside-the-box thinking at every stage.

Interboro Partners’ project “Rest Stop” leverages the New York Restoration Project’s Million Trees NYC Initiative by creating custom planter/benches from recycled lumber that temporarily “hold” replacement trees bound for neighborhood NYCHA buildings at Pier 42, where there is an immediate need for shade, green, and seating.

For more information on the project please visit Paths to Pier 42.

Courtesy of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Jennifer Wen Ma, Inked Garden
July 20, 2013 to November 30, 2013
Pier 42, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council invited artists and design professionals to participate in a community-driven, site-responsive design process for the temporary activation of Pier 42 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Artists and designers were asked to propose ideas for cultural activity including temporary public art, small-scale interventions, programming and event spaces that directly engage the site and community in which the pier is located.

Jennifer Wen Ma was born in Beijing. She currently works and lives between New York and Beijing. Ma’s interdisciplinary practice bridges media as varied as installation, video, drawing, fashion design, performance, and public art, often bringing together unlikely elements in a single piece, creating sensitive, poetic, and poignant works.

Jennifer Wen Ma’s project “Inked Garden” is an elongated garden painted black with charcoal-based Chinese ink, planted and cared for with community members. The garden returns to green over time, serving as a testament to the perseverance and resilience of life.

For more information on the project please visit Paths to Pier 42.

Courtesy of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Mary Mattingly, Triple Island
July 20, 2013 to November 30, 2013
Pier 42, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council invited artists and design professionals to participate in a community-driven, site-responsive design process for the temporary activation of Pier 42 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Artists and designers were asked to propose ideas for cultural activity including temporary public art, small-scale interventions, programming and event spaces that directly engage the site and community in which the pier is located.

Mary Mattingly is a Brooklyn-based artist. Through interdisciplinary collaborations and documentation, Mattingly’s work proposes possible futures involving increased mobile infrastructure, local and community networks of exchange, and interdependent living-systems.

Mattingly’s project “Triple Island” is a scalable, amphibious ecosystem that serves as a habitat in preparation for increased ecological instability and the dearth of livable land; and as a public experiment about living with the altered environments of our shared future.

For more information on the project please visit Paths to Pier 42.

Courtesy of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Nanna Debois Buhl, Do you remember the bananas?
July 20, 2013 to November 30, 2013
Pier 42, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council invited artists and design professionals to participate in a community-driven, site-responsive design process for the temporary activation of Pier 42 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Artists and designers were asked to propose ideas for cultural activity including temporary public art, small-scale interventions, programming and event spaces that directly engage the site and community in which the pier is located.

Nanna Debois Buhl is a Brooklyn-based artist born in Denmark. Her projects examine historical or cultural knowledge through plants, animals, and architectural components. She uses the formats of maps and atlases in her artistic practice, and her works are realized through a combination of installations, drawing, film, text, photography, and sound.

Buhl’s project “Do you remember the bananas?” is a painted herbarium depicting the banana plants that historically entered the city, traversing Pier 42 until 1987; and drawing on people’s memories of the period.

For more information on the project please visit Paths to Pier 42.

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