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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

Ben Tritt, Analogia
March 8, 2014 to March 16, 2014
Bryant Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Analogia is an epic new public outdoor art installation making its worldwide debut at Bryant Park. The largest free-standing structure of its kind, Analogia is an overlapping of painting, architecture, and sculpture and will feature a performance component, soundscape designs and a lighting design.

A massive 60-foot edifice comprised of an overlapping tower and pyramid create a temporary gateway to Bryant Park. The imagery, inspired by sculptures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, captures the inherent tension and similarity of world cultures in a Babel-like structure that juxtaposes Western and non-Western traditions.

Young Projects,  Match-Maker,  Photograph by Ka-Man Tse

Young Project, Match Maker
February 10, 2014 to March 11, 2014
Broadway and 46th Street
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:

Brooklyn–based design studio Young Projects was selected to design the 2014 Valentine Heart,Match-Maker, and to oversee its construction in collaboration with Kammetal. Over the last six years the Times Square Alliance has invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a romantic public art installation celebrating Valentine’s Day in Times Square. For the 2014 competition, Times Square Arts, in collaboration with Van Alen Institute, selected Young Projects’ Match-Maker out of six design proposals.

Match-Maker cosmically connects people this Valentine’s Day. Guided by their zodiac signs, visitors arrange themselves at twelve viewing points around the heart-shaped sculpture. Peering through colorful, interwoven periscopes provides glimpses of each viewer’s four most ideal astrological mates, offering potentially novel connections between lonely souls or settled lovers. The form of the sculpture is elusive, complex and symmetrical, and changes as viewers experience it from different vantage points throughout Times Square. From many points of view it forms a perfect and iconic heart; from other perspectives the sculpture is tangled and perplexing.

This exhibition is presented by the Times Square Alliance and the Van Alen Institute.

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.

Queens

Various, Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition
September 7, 2014 to March 22, 2015
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Artists: Matt Callinan, Jordan Griska, Meredith James, Fitzhugh Karol, Lilian Kreutzberger, Zaq Landsberg, Heidi Lau, Amanda Long, Christopher Mahonski, Kimberly Mayhorn, Eto Otitigbe, Brie Ruais, Edward Schexnayder, David Wilson, Dane Winkler

The annual Emerging Artist Fellowship (EAF) Exhibition is a cornerstone of Socrates Sculpture Park’s visual arts programming and is widely acclaimed for the ambition, breadth, and innovation of the works on view. Featuring fifteen artists, EAF14 is a survey of the compelling and diverse state of sculpture today.

Each EAF14 artist has engaged with the larger narrative of public space in a dynamic and daring way, building upon Socrates Sculpture Park’s goal to present socially aware, inspiring art in the public realm. EAF14 artists were selected through a high competitive process that attracted a broad field of nearly 300 candidates, reviewed by the park’s curatorial advisors Anne Barlow (Executive Director, Art in General) and Joe Sheftel (Joe Sheftel Gallery, New York). Selected EAF14 artists were awarded a 2014 Emerging Artist Fellowship, including 24/7 access to the park’s outdoor studio and facilities, as well as the financial, technical, and curatorial support to realize his or her most ambitious work possible.

This project is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park

Kate Gilmore, Wall Bearer
September 7, 2014 to March 22, 2015
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Kate Gilmore’s sculptural and performance-based works raise questions about feminine identity and contemporary power dynamics. Wall Bearer, the park’s current Broadway Billboard, is documentation from the eponymous performance at The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro North Carolina in 2011. For that project, six performers, dressed in identical pink outfits, stood in individual alcoves within a matching pink wall.Ã??Ã? The performers, all women, stood perfectly still for three hour stretches, during which time visitors to the exhibition could walk through the space, viewing the performance as a still-life or a sculpture to be briefly admired.

In Wall Bearer, the live female body is transformed into a sculptural element, referencing 1970’s performance art and later feminist artworks.Ã??Ã? Here Gilmore presents a parade of pink and a rotating cast of all-female performers. The pink’s Pepto-Bismol-like hue borders on saccharine and feels imposed and thus unattractively burdensome for each woman. Camouflaged, anonymous, and uncomfortable, each woman may be a column of support and essential to the overall tableau, but she is also easily overlooked, suggesting that there is more than a physical wall to be overcome.

This project is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park

Courtesy of the artist

Bundith Phunsombatlert, Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures
May 15, 2014 to November 15, 2014
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures is a site-specific project that invites the public to embark on guided journeys through NYC to find public sculptures. Phunsombatlert researched all existing public sculptures in New York City and identified 100 sites to be incorporated in his final work. He then created small drawings of each sculpture and developed directional signs and maps that resemble standard U.S. National Park Service signage. The artwork is made up of signage for 100 public sculptures that contain distances drawn from GPS coordinates between each sculpture and the group of wooden posts outside of the Queens Museum at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The project is made possible by the generosity of the Athena Foundation, Awesome Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Location One, New York Foundation for the Arts’ Opportunity Grants, Puffin Foundation, Ltd., Puffin Foundation West, Ltd., Socrates Sculpture Park, Mark di Suvero, Anne Dunning, Rob Herschenfeld, James T. MacGregor & Claire Montgomery, Ivana Mestrovic, and Jan Mun.

Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Pawel Althamer, Queen Mother of Reality
May 11, 2014 to August 3, 2014
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Queen Mother of Reality by Pawel Althamer is a monumental, mixed media sculpture of an elegant figure that is peacefully reclining in the shaded southern section of the park overlooking the East River waterfront. Althamer’s sculpture is dedicated to and inspired by “Queen Mother” Dr. Delois Blakely, a U.S. Ambassador of Goodwill to Africa,who has been the Community Mayor of Harlem since she was sworn in by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 1995. Queen Mother of Reality serves as a call to highlight the numerous displaced and homeless of New York City – Dr. Blakely’s paramount cause.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park in collaboration with Performa, and in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Zilvinas Kempinas, Scarecrow
May 11, 2014 to August 3, 2014
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Scarecrowis a new site-specific installation by artist Zilvinas Kempinas and the largest installation in Socrates’ 28-year history. Minimal and magical, the sculpture will be a 250-foot-long, thirteen-foot-high kinetic pathway composed of 200 stainless steel, mirrored poles connecting energetic slopes of silver Mylar ribbon overhead. With two simple elements – poles and tape – Scarecrow activates the invisible forces of nature. Scarecrow will reflect its surrounding environment and thus will continuously change throughout the exhibition. The perpetual motion of the ribbon, as it responds to the wind of its environment, will echo the natural flowing of the nearby East River, while the mirrored material will reflect momentary shifts of light and sky like a shimmering horizon along the waterfront.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

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