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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

Courtesy of First Street Green

World Policy Institute, The 12 x 12 Project
August 6, 2013 to September 1, 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:

The 12x12 Project originated from a book by author and World Policy Insitute Senior Fellow, William Powers. Powers chronicled his season living in a "tiny house" in the 2010 award-winning, national "green living" bestseller: Twelve by Twelve: A One Room Cabin, Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream. Inspired by the book, artists Betsy Damon, Simon Draper, Erik Ajemian and Christy Rupp formed a creative team to engage the public in dialogue about how smarter consumption might change their lives - and the planet. The 12x12 installation is a simple space that houses panels containing text and questions from the Twelve by Twelve book. Participants and park visitors to the installation will engage with the question "What's your 12x12?" in order to spark new thinking around what smart consumption means for each person. Throughout the exhibition there will be a series of artists in residence which will include Ivy Haldeman, Mario Chamorro, Catalina Parra, Pablo Gnecco, Jonathan Koh, and Shawn Shafner.

The installation will be open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 12:00pm to 7:00pm August 6 through September 1, 2013.

The exhibition is presented by Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc), World Policy Institute, and First Street Green.

Courtesy of Andreas Symietz

Amanda Schachter & Alexander Levi, Harvest Dome 2.0
August 1, 2013 to August 31, 2013
Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi gathered discarded storm-snapped umbrellas, littered seasonally throughout Manhattan for the Harvest Dome 2.0. They assembled them into a giant twenty-four foot diameter, light-gauge spherical dome, which floats on the waters of the Inwood Hill Park Inlet as a physical revelation of the city’s accumulated waterborne debris. The inlet, a remnant of Spuyten Duyvil Creek’s marshland, was reconfigured and dredged in 1895 to create the Harlem River Ship Canal. It holds brackish water and is home to saltwater cord grass, a species particularly adept at trapping flotsam and converting it into the nutrient-rich mud called detritus that supports abundant life on the marsh. Harvest Dome reveals and transfigures the workings of this ecosystem at Manhattan’s northern tip, which was once prevalent on the island. It calls attention to the particularities of its tides—which reveal the mud flats twice daily—through hands-on engagement with the water and the real-time harvesting of the city’s manufactured debris into a large-scale curiosity of urban nature.

Thomas Schütte, United Enemies, courtesy of the Public Art Fund

Thomas Schütte, United Enemies
March 5, 2013 to August 25, 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:

Towering in cast bronze, it is astonishing that Thomas Schütte’s United Enemies has its origins in a series of small figures the artist made with modeling clay in the early 1990s. Schütte (b. 1954, Oldenburg, Germany) conceived the series during a residency in Italy at a time when several politicians had been arrested for corruption. These figures, however, are mythical characters rather than specific individuals. Their paired forms are highly abstracted, with heads emerging from swaddling robes that conceal their limbs. Faces are aged and anguished, rendered in soft focus to suggest the waning power of would-be patriarchs. In contrast, the tightly knotted rope that binds them is sharply detailed, drawing the figures – and our eyes – into focus.

Monumental bronze statuary is among the most traditional forms of public art. The artist’s choice of Central Park for the display of this work places it in dialogue with that tradition. With typical inventiveness, Schütte has taken a conventional form and made it relevant. His colossal figures do not stand heroically atop a classical pedestal but seem to stagger, earthbound, on tripods of bundled poles. Struggling to be rid of its mate, each figure is nevertheless incapable of standing alone. They have become potent contemporary metaphors: sculpted giants that simultaneously resonate with the mythological, the political, and the personal.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Jieun Yang and Ji Young Kim, Urban Forest, Photo courtesy of Superfront

Jieun Yang and Ji Young Kim and Super front, Urban Forest
July 15, 2013 to August 15, 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:

Urban Forest is a threshold where a fast-paced urban path and a slow meandering of natural oasis are extended and integrated. As a reflector of public exchange and movement, the pavilion facilitates the intimacy of bodily interaction and accentuates urban and community context. Urban Forest is a network of flexible responses to the changing time, weather, and environment that subverts the fixed nature of the architectural form and embraces the agility of urban life.

This exhibition is presented by SUPERFRONT and First Street Green

Can Altay, Inner Space Station, Courtesy of Protocinema

Can Altay, Inner Space Station
May 10, 2013 to June 30, 2013
Seward Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Can Altay's Inner Space Station, 2013, is a territorial marker in the form of a circular bench. Altay's work draws on the limits of public space by creating a temporary inner space that is a simple gesture towards introspection. Inner Space Station is a circle, approximately six feet in diameter, made of concrete, just high and deep enough to make a quiet park bench. Regardless of the direction one is facing while sitting on the sculpture, there is the unavoidable aspect of positioning oneself either on the inside or on the outside. This simple gesture of proposing a boundary as a resting place expands to wider philosophical concerns of what is permitted, where and when.

This exhibition is presented by Protocinema.

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.

Alexandre Arrechea, No Limits, Photograph by Daniel Avila, NYC Parks & Recreation

Alexandre Arrechea, No Limits
March 1, 2013 to June 9, 2013
54th - 67th 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:

Alexandre Arrechea’s No Limits, a new site-specific installation transforms New York City’s famed Park Avenue with 10 large scale sculptures embodying New York’s most prominent buildings. Iconic landmarks represented include: Chrysler Building, Citicorp Center, Empire State Building, Flatiron building, Helmsley Building, MetLife Building, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, Seagram Building, Sherry Netherland, and US Courthouse. The sculptures, which will appear to roll, wind, and spin their way down Park Avenue from 54th to 67th Street, reach towering heights of up to 20 feet.

No Limits by Alexandre Arrechea is presented by Magnan Metz Gallery in conjunction with New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Fund for the Park Avenue Sculpture Committee.

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.

INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY,  April 22 - May 10, 2013.  Rendering courtesy of INSIDE OUT PROJECT.

JR, INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY
April 22, 2013 to May 10, 2013
Father Duffy Square, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, welcomes French artist JR’s global initiative INSIDE OUT PROJECT, a large-scale participatory art project he started in 2011, to Times Square from April 22 to May 10, 2013. For INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY, JR and his team invite New Yorkers and visitors to take self-portraits in a specially designed photo booth stationed in Times Square, the site of the world’s first ever photo booth almost 100 years ago. The black-and-white self-portraits will be overlaid on a backdrop designed by JR and printed on the spot as a 3’X4’ poster. The posters will be pasted on Duffy Square in Times Square, or in the home community of the portrait’s subject. The goal of the project is to allow each portrait-taker to express through his or her face a message to the world.

The project will activate Times Square as a creative hub—engaging the boroughs of New York as the photo booth truck makes early visits to the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. The initial portraits will feature community members from New York City neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy—the Staten Island waterfront, the Rockaways, Red Hook, and Coney Island.

This exhibition is presented by Times Square Arts

State of Veracruz, Olmec Head
October 10, 2012 to May 5, 2013
1st Avenue
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:

Donated by the Government of the State of Veracruz, this stone and dust temporary sculpture is a replica of the first majestic Olmec head to be uncovered in San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan in 1964. The symbolism of its carvings shows an inverted jaguar paw with a circle, possibly referencing chalchihuitl- a green stone representing water and everything precious. Standing over ten feet tall, the facial features of “The King” correspond to what was considered beautiful at the time: a slight strabismus, deformed cranium, and ear covers. The State of Veracruz hopes that this sculpture will be enjoyed and admired by the city and its visitors.

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