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Art in the Parks

Through collaborations with a diverse group of arts organizations and artists, Parks bringsto the public both experimental and traditional art in many park locations. Please browse ourlist of current exhibits below, explore our archives of past exhibits or readmore about the Art in the Parks Program.

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Find out which current exhibits are on display near you, and browse our permanent monument collection.

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C Anna Morris / 2005

Marjorie Kouns, Well-Lit Chess Pieces
April 23, 2005 to April 2006
Washington Square Park, Manhattan

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

Well-Lit Chess Pieces consists of 11 oversized chess pieces placed near the park's chess tables, and 26 multicolored vinyl lampshades covering the park lampposts. Luminescent by day and glowing like stained glass at night, the Empire-style shades resemble those of household reading lamps.

"I'm testing the attraction people have with public spaces and how they instinctively desire to make them part of their own property," said Kouns. "In this case I'm producing lamp covers in a reading lamp style that you would use in your living room, making the park part of your very own outdoor living area."

Ms. Kouns has maintained a studio in Greenwich Village , near Washington Square Park , for over 20 years. Her artistic practice focuses on public art, including mural painting and projects in collaboration with children. Well Lit Chess Pieces is sponsored in part by Starbucks Neighborhood Park Grants Program, Knickerbocker Village NY, Inc., Signature Properties NY, Inc., and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

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Press Release

Jene Highstein, One Meter Tornado (External), 2004, quartzite

Jene Highstein, 11 Abstract Sculptures
October 2005 to April 2006
between 5th and Madison avenues, East 23rd & East 26th streets
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

A series of sculpture by Jene Highstein are grouped by medium on five lawns panels in the park. Some of the groupings explore a basic sculptural form through subtle differences in texture and shape. Another panel features three of Highstein's Tornado pieces, funnel-shaped forms in quartzite of varying surface patterns and textures. Other groupings feature objects in wood and cast iron.

Mr. Highstein (born 1942) has been exhibiting sculpture internationally since 1968. His works are in the collections of major museums, such as the Victoria and Albert, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. He has created pieces of public art for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Wanas Sculpture Park in Sweden, and Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis. He has received four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Award, and the Saint Gauden's Award from the Cooper Union. He lives and works in New York.

Richard Deacon, Masters of the Universe: Screen Version

Richard Deacon, Masters of the Universe: Screen Version
September 8, 2005 to April 15, 2006
Doris C. Freedman Plaza - 5th Avenue at 60th Street
Central Park, Manhattan

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

Richard Deacon is widely regarded as one of the foremost sculptors of our time, best known for creating abstract works that combine biomorphic, open forms and virtuoso engineering. Since the outset of his career in the mid-1970s, Deacon has been interested in materials and their manipulation, working with both natural media and also using manufactured metals such as the industrial stainless steel of Masters of the Universe: Screen Version.

The title is a reference to constellations in the nighttime sky. In particular, the artist is interested in the way we name clusters of stars based on the two-dimensional shapes they resemble. He observes that there are an infinite number of different relationships among these stars – we just can't see them from earth. "The title refers to the way that humans conceptualize an image in order to represent it, and that representation is mastery. It's an illusion."

Born in Wales in 1949, Deacon lives and works in London. He was awarded the Tate Gallery's Turner Prize in 1987. A major exhibition of large-scale work opened this year at the Museo Artium in Spain and will travel throughout Europe. Deacon has had solo exhibitions at the Serpentine, Whitechapel and Tate Galleries in London, and was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery Liverpool in 1990.

Deborah Butterfield, Deep Time

Deborah Butterfield, Deep Time, Cicada and Wilder
October 1, 2005 to March 4, 2006
between 52nd & 54th Streets
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan

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

Three sculptures by internationally renowned artist Deborah Butterfield depict life-size horses, created from scrap metal and driftwood, each unique work cast in bronze. They appear on the grassy areas of the malls, against a backdrop of classic New York skyscrapers. The sculpture is presented upon the recommendation of the Sculpture Committee of the Fund for Park Avenue and in cooperation with Edward Thorp Gallery, New York.

Ms. Butterfield, who is based in Montana, has been creating sculptures of horses since the mid-1970s. In a recently published monograph of her work, art historian Wayne L. Roosa suggests that the artist transforms pieces of scrap metal and found wood into majestic, life-size horse sculptures that are like ancient noble archaeological remains, skeletal and grand.

Circle with Towers (courtesy of Madison Square Park Conservancy)

Sol LeWitt, Curved Wall with Towers and Circle with Towers
May 2005 to February 6, 2006
between 5th and Madison avenues, East 23rd and East 26th streets
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

Conceptual and Minimal artist Sol LeWitt has created two site-specific artworks for Madison Square Park. Circle with Towers is a three-foot high concrete-block ring punctuated by eight towers at equal intervals. Curved Wall with Towers is an eighty-five foot long curving wall with fourteen towers placed at equal intervals. The two pieces demonstrate LeWitt's career-long fascination with the cube as a modular unit.

LeWitt (born 1928, Hartford) has been the subject of hundreds of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries, including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Tate Gallery, London; The Kunsthalle, Bern; and the Stedelijk, Amsterdam. His work is represented in the collection of major museums worldwide.


Mark Klassen, The Payphone Project

Alyson Baker and Andrea Zittel, Interstate - the American Road Trip
May 2006 to August 2006
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens

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

Interstate – the American Road Trip is a collaboration between Socrates and High Desert Test Sites in the southern California desert. Interstate is a cross-country exhibition about the American road trip that addresses the space between the two sites – both a great geographical distance and a vast psychological expanse. The participating artists are: Lisa Anne Auerbach, Melissa Brown, Katie Grinnan, Chris Hanson & Hendrika Sonnenberg, Mark Klassen, Los Angeles Urban Rangers, R. Scott Mitchell, Carolina Pedraza, Virginia Poundstone and Allison Smith.

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