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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.

2014

Brooklyn

Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman, Geolocations: DUMBO, Photo courtesy of the artists

Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman, Geolocation: DUMBO
September 18, 2013 to September 17, 2014
Washington Street and Prospect Street, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Geolocation: DUMBO is a new Twitter-inspired public art piece from photographers and self-described “virtual flâneurs” Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman. Wrapping 190ft around the corner of Washington and Prospect, this work was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District in collaboration with United Photo Industries.

Geolocation: DUMBO embraces the neighborhood’s digital culture. To create the piece, Larson and Shindelman used publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and take photographs to mark the location in the real world. Each of the photographs is taken at the site of the update and paired with the originating text. According to the artists, the “act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks.” Local sites depicted in the piece include Brooklyn Bridge Park, Etsy and the parking garage at 20 Jay.

The piece was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District and United Photo Industries in partnership with NYC Parks. For additional information about the project, click here.

Manhattan

Adrian Villar Rojas, The Evolution of God, photo courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Adrian Villar Rojas, The Evolution of God
September 21, 2014 to Summer 2015
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas is known for his large-scale, site-specific sculptural installations that transform their environs into a vision of their own potential future. Employing a unique mixture of cement and clay, Villar Rojas imbues his sculptures with a material destined to crumble while on view. His works combine the daunting scale of conventional public sculptures with a precarious fragility, keeping viewers mindful of the ephemerality of even the most imposing monoliths.

For the High Line, the artist presents The Evolution of God, a new, site-specific installation composed of thirteen abstract sculptures which punctuate the wild, self-seeded landscape of the High Line at the Rail Yards, and creates a sculptural progression and a rhythmic sequence of forms, reminiscent of a musical score. This new project extends the artist’s own traditional treatment of materials, by integrating organic elements such as seeds, vegetables, and other perishable components inspired by the natural landscape on the High Line as well as non-perishable items such as clothing, sneakers, and rope. Seemingly sturdy, the sculptures will instead turn into living organisms, revealing the passage of time through vegetal sprouts and tectonic cracks, which will slowly return the sculptures to the surrounding landscape.

This exhibition is presented by Friends of the High Line

Image Courtesy of the artist

Jarrod Beck, Uplift
August 20, 2014 to August 19, 2015
Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Uplift sits on a tree–lined terrace in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Made from recycled rubber conveyor belts once used to cart ore out of West Virginia mines, the work suggests stratified rock or a grouping of recently unearthed tectonic plates. Uplift is both memorial and artifact, reminding us of loss, but also rooted in a deep time beyond our memories.

Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Atabey's Land Haven, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Art Students League, Model to Monument (M2M)
June 12, 2014 to May 15, 2015
Riverside Park South, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Art Students League of New York, one of America’s premier art schools, presents the Model to Monument Program (M2M), a collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation that has culminated in the installation of seven sculptures on view along Riverside Park South from 59th to 69th Streets.

The sculptures were created by an international team of selected League students during a nine-month program. The pieces for this exhibition explore “The Architecture of Nature.”  The artists are: Laura Barmack, Janet Fekete-Bolton, Ana Sofìa Martì, Lindsay McCosh, Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Natsuki Takauji, and Minako Yoshino.

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

Jim Rennert, THINK BIG
June 3, 2014 to May 4, 2015
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Jim Rennert’s THINK BIG stands at over 12-feet tall serving as an inspiration to everyone who works hard every day to achieve their dreams and goals. The monumental businessman gazes up at the sky and the Manhattan skyline, reminding us that if we “think big” we can attain anything and that the American Dream is still very much alive and possible. Businessman or not, everyone can still relate to the themes in their own personal ways. THINK BIG is the culmination of positive thinking, as the original concept started as a two-inch sculpture. Rennert is excited to bring the sculpture to New York so that everyone can indeed, “think big.”

The project is made possible by the Cavalier Gallery and Union Square Partnership.

Isabelle Cornaro, God Box (column), courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Various Artists, Archeo
April 17, 2014 to March, 2015
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

An outdoor group exhibition about technology and obsolescence, Archeo brings together the work of artists who employ outmoded technologies and outdated machinery as a reflection on humanity’s continuous fascination and frustration with technology.

Today, many young artists engage with technology by exposing both its fragilities and merits. Their artworks embody an attitude that is simultaneously critical and nostalgic, in which the optimistic idealism of technological progress is countered by a disenchanted skepticism. Some of the works in the exhibition describe a recent past which resembles a dystopian future, featuring a wasteland of discarded machines and castaway objects. Other artists are more enthusiastic about the potential of technology but warn us against its dangerous side effects and its planned obsolescence. Some of the artworks on view disclose a return to the handmade and an attraction to organic forms and materials. These sculptures resemble relics and findings of an archaeology of the future.

Archeo features international artists including: Antoine Catala, Isabelle Cornaro, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Yngve Holen, Gavin Kenyon, Josh Kline, Marianne Vitale

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

Anthony Heinz May, Txiti Hìtkuk, Photo courtesy of NYC Parks.

Anthony Heinz May, Txiti Hitkuk
October 5, 2014 to March 31, 2015
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Heinz May’s site specific installations are created with trees that have been uprooted or removed from public spaces. Txiti Hìtkuk consists of a London Plane tree appropriated from NYC Parks. Heinz May transplanted the trunk in the planting bed alongside existing rose bushes and London Plane trees and pixelated its appearance into a cluster of wooden cubes. The tree trunk, though untouched at its base, starts to fragment into numerous blocks that are held together with a pin system.

Through his sculpture, Heinz May addresses the dialogue between preservation and degradation; real and artificial; and obsoletion and sustainability. Additionally, he draws parallels between our society and its growing use of technology with his transformation of raw materials into a gridded system. He alters the recycled trees into a three-dimensional representations of two-dimensional organization found in digital imagery---noting that they act like “dissolving digitized glitches in the landscape, symbolizing human interaction within nature through a technological lens.”

While researching the Lenape and the Wickquasgeck Trail (an early north-south trading route in what is now Manhattan), Heinz May came across an online translator for Unami/Delaware languages.  The title, Txiti Hìtkuk (pronunciation 'Touee-tee Heet-kook') roughly translates to “Few Trees,” which references the city as it is now in relation to how it was then.

This project is presented in part by First Street Green

Various, Broadway Morey Boogie
September 17, 2014 to February 28, 2015
Broadway Malls, Manhattan

Description:

Broadway Morey Boogie borrows its title from Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s 1942-43 masterpiece Broadway Boogie Woogie. The painting, which today is one of the Museum of Modern Art’s most popular artworks, once mobilized the avant-garde ideals of abstraction in the service of a brash ode to the dynamism and vitality of New York City street life. This exhibition aims to do the same by populating the backbone of Manhattan—surfing down Broadway from 166th Street to Columbus Circle—with a group exhibition of outdoor sculpture by contemporary American artists. The first of its kind on twelve highly-varied neighborhood sites, this show spans a variety of mediums and methods employed by artists both emerging and established. The works were selected in an attempt to engage audiences at street level with accessible, thought-provoking artworks of modest to monumental scale.

Broadway Morey Boogie is curated by Marlborough Chelsea and produced in collaboration with the Broadway Mall Association and NYC Parks.

Artists included:
Matt Johnson at 166th Street (Mitchel Square); Drew Heitzler at 157th Street; Dan Colen at 137th Street (Montefiore Park); Davina Semo at 117th Street; Paul Drueke at 96th Street; Lars Fisk at 79th Street; Tony Matelli at 73rd Street (Verdi Square); Devin Troy Strother at 72nd Street; Sara Braman at 64th Street (Dante Park); and Joanna Malinowska at 59th Street (Columbus Circle).

Tony Smith, Points of View, Photo by Yasunori Matsui

Tony Cragg, Walks of Life
September 18, 2014 to February 8, 2015
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Tony Cragg’s Walks of Life consists of three monumental bronze sculptures on three lawns in the Park. His work supplants any longstanding art historical division between abstraction and figuration: his sculptural innovation is to fuse both styles in one work and to make bronze into a malleable material. Cragg’s sculpture is characterized by repeated facial profiles and torqueing imagery that reshapes the experienced world. These forms intermingle to create vital objects where contours shift and morph, provoking the viewer to differentiate between a work of humanism and a work of dynamism.

Installed on the west gravel section of the Park, Cragg’s Caldera is a strapping, tumultuous sculpture that rests on three points. Viewers will have the opportunity to walk beneath the work to experience its massive presence. At eighteen feet high, Mixed Feelings will command a northern lawn. Three times human height, the object is simultaneously immense and elegant. Points of View is a tripartite work of sinuous forms which interact with one another and with the viewer on the Park’s Oval Lawn. Facial profiles zig and zag across each column’s surface. All three sculptures in this exhibition were cast specifically for Madison Square Park.

This exhibition is presented by Mad.Sq.Art

Chuck Ginnever, Medusa, 1986

Charles Ginnever, Medusa and High Rise
December 6, 2013 to November 30, 2014
Riverside Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Charles Ginnever’s piece Medusa (1986) is located at 145th Street in Riverside Park and echoes his sculpture High Rise, sited on a neighboring lawn.   This exhibition marks Ginnever’s return to Parks, having exhibited in Carl Schurz Park in 1967 as part of Sculpture in Environment, one of the city’s first public art exhibitions. Charles Ginnever was born in San Mateo, CA in 1931. He is best known for his large-scale, open form works for the outdoors. He created the first of these in 1958 with abandoned railroad ties and structural steel. The result was a deconstruction of prevailing sculptural spatial concepts that he continues to examine. A contemporary of Mark di Suvero and Richard Serra, who also exhibit monumental steel pieces,  Ginnever’s sculptures have a trick of the eye and appear to warp as someone looks at the pieces from different angles.

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