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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

Manhattan

Sui Jianguo, Blind Portraits, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Sui Jianguo, Blind Portraits
October 28, 2014 to February 20, 2015
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

These monumental cast bronzes are not portraits in the traditional sense. All of them have features that resemble faces, but none depict specific people. This is not surprising given that they were enlarged from small clay models created by Sui Jianguo while blindfolded. The “portraits” are the intuitive results of the artist manipulating his material without the benefit of sight.

For Sui, this apparent limitation is a means of finding a different – and equally valid – method of creating sculpture. In this way, the artist brings together traditions of Chinese aesthetics and Western modernism, both of which share an interest in exploring the essential nature of materials and the effects of chance.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund

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.

Courtesy of NYC Parks

Dean Monogenis, City Pillars, Flow.14 Art and Music at Randall’s Island
June 2014 to November 2014
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
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Description:

The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, the Bronx Museum of the Arts and Made Event are pleased to present FLOW annual summer art exhibitions along the shoreline at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. FLOW is aimed at fostering appreciation of the shoreline through artistic expression, while calling visitors to interact with and care for the Park’s island environment. Each year, FLOW features site specific projects by participants in the Bronx Museum’s Artists in the Marketplace (AIM) program for emerging artists.

Monogenis’s City Pillars is comprised of seven striped rectilinear forms in varying dimensions, hovering just above the ground along the southern shoreline of Randall’s Island Park. Five vertical structures represent the boroughs of New York City and two horizontal forms will represent the East and Hudson Rivers. The work begins with the concept of the genius loci: originating in classical Rome, the term describes the protective spirit or divine guardian of a place. In Southeast Asia, similar shrines or “city pillars” are vertical, totemic monuments, dedicated to the specific deity of a location. FLOW.14 also includes Robert Raphael’s Untitled Folly, Jessica Sander’s Ground, andKant Smith’s Ghost House.

This exhibition is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Courtesy of NYC Parks

Kant Smith, Ghost House, Flow.14 Art and Music at Randall’s Island
June 2014 to November 2014
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, the Bronx Museum of the Arts and Made Event are pleased to present FLOW annual summer art exhibitions along the shoreline at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. FLOW is aimed at fostering appreciation of the shoreline through artistic expression, while calling visitors to interact with and care for the Park’s island environment. Each year, FLOW features site specific projects by participants in the Bronx Museum’s Artists in the Marketplace (AIM) program for emerging artists.

Smith’s Ghost House sits on a bluff overlooking the Wards Meadow Fields at Randall’s Island Park. Constructed entirely of chain link fence, the sculpture will translate the vernacular of the baseball backstop into an ethereal and slightly surreal contemplation of the American home. FLOW.14 also includes Dean Monogenis’ City Pillars, Robert Raphael’s Untitled Folly, andJessica Sanders’ Ground.

This exhibition is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Courtesy of NYC Parks

Jessica Sanders, Ground, Flow.14 Art and Music at Randall’s Island
June 2014 to November 2014
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, the Bronx Museum of the Arts and Made Event are pleased to present FLOW annual summer art exhibitions along the shoreline at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. FLOW is aimed at fostering appreciation of the shoreline through artistic expression, while calling visitors to interact with and care for the Park’s island environment. Each year, FLOW features site specific projects by participants in the Bronx Museum’s Artists in the Marketplace (AIM) program for emerging artists.

To install Ground, Sanders created ten sculpted earth chairs, in a variety of forms, within sight of one another along the coastline of Randall’s Island Park. The chairs are bound by Kentucky Bluegrass, chosen for its suitability to the Island’s ground and climate, as well as for its balance of softness and durability. The installation offers an unmitigated phenomenological experience, the opportunity to interact with a living material in a simultaneously nostalgic and atypical way. FLOW.14 also includes Dean Monogenis’ City Pillars, Robert Raphael’s Untitled Folly, andKant Smith’s Ghost House.

This exhibition is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Courtesy of Lower Manhattan Culture Council

Chat Traviesio with Yeju Choi, On a Fence
July 12, 2014 to November 30, 2014
Pier 42, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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.

Travieso’s project On a Fence expands on his 2013 Pier 42 project, which transforms the fence surrounding Pier 42 into an interactive structure incorporating seating, play areas, and signage. The project seeks to invert the function and meaning of the fence from a physical barrier to a place where people can come together. This year, On a Fence will be expanded to occupy the entire length of the fence on the Northern side of the park, incorporating new programming that complements the previous installation.

On a Fence acts as a testing ground and incubator for more permanent solutions that can be incorporated into the final design of the Pier 42 Park. Local residents participate in the planning and design process of On a Fence and assist in its construction on site.

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

Courtesy of Lower Manhattan Culture Council

Combo Colab + Stereotank, DrumReef 42
July 12, 2014 to November 30, 2014
Pier 42, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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.

Combo Colab + Stereotank’s project DrumReef 42 re-envisions the topography of Pier 42 and builds a participatory installation that creates awareness about current environmental concerns. Made from multiple re-used plastic barrels, the drum-formation is a structure that can be used to climb, rest, play, and explore new connections to the river and the park.

Combo Colab conceived the installation as a social sculpture that uses existing resources, low-cost materials, and pre-fabricated systems. It can be read as an inhabitable barrier that also acts as an island for play, incorporating interactive elements to engage visitors. Sound-making features by Stereotank promote a participative mood creating awareness about water and marine life. DrumReef 42 is an experiment on subjects that are relevant to the site, the neighborhood, and its condition in proximity to the water.

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

Courtesy of Lower Manhattan Culture Council

Sonia Louise Davis, The People’s Poster Project
July 12, 2014 to November 30, 2014
Pier 42, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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.

Davis’ project The People’s Poster Project redefines the notion of a time capsule. Instead of burying something in the ground to be excavated thousands of years in the future, the project aims to activate a more reflective space that highlights individual stories of Lower East Side residents within public dialogue about the future of Pier 42.

The project consists of workshops and conversations about what matters most to Lower East Side community members. Working with a range of community groups, from youth to elders, Davis will facilitate large format photographic portraits, inviting neighbors to pose with an object from their personal archive and recount its significance. Throughout the summer they will create and install posters in local community spaces and businesses around the neighborhood, and on Pier 42, culminating in a completed outdoor exhibition in September.

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

Photo courtesy of LMCC

Tattfoo Tan, New Earth Apocalypse Knowledge Advancement (NEAKA)
July 12, 2014 to November 30, 2014
Pier 42, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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.

Tan’s project New Earth Apocalypse Knowledge Advancement (NEAKA) is a metal key frame catamaran that will be installed on Pier 42 and ceremonially christened with salt in late July. The artist sees the vessel as a spiritual reminder of an uncertain future due to societal collapse (population, climate, water, agriculture and energy) and a call to action in preparation to face such challenges. NEAKA also serves as a vitrine for NEMRE (New Earth Meal Ready to Eat), a part of Tan’s ongoing social practice project, through which he inspires others to practice the ancient food preservation technique of dehydration, not only to help prepare for future disaster, but to provide nutritious meals in the present, knowing every ingredient and wasting none.

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

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