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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.

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

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Valerie Hegarty, Autumn on the Hudson Valley with Branches

Valerie Hegarty,Autumn on the Hudson Valley with Branches
November 11, 2009 to November 2010
West 20th Street, northern perimeter fence
The High Line, Manhattan

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

Autumn on the Hudson Valley with Branches imagines a nineteenth-century Hudson River School landscape painting that has been left outdoors, exposed to the elements. The canvas is tattered and frayed, and its partially exposed stretcher bars appear to be morphing into tree branches, as if reverting to their natural state. The painted portion of the work is based on Jasper Francis Cropsey's Autumn on the Hudson River (1860), a bucolic landscape that shows none of the effects of the Industrial Revolution of its day. Since the nineteenth century, the Hudson River has been associated with both Arcadian beauty and industrial development, despite the contradiction between the two. Today, along Manhattan’s Hudson River, one can view fading remnants of the waterfront as an active shipping port, as well as recent efforts to return it to a more “natural” state through the development of park areas and walking paths, including the High Line. The focus of Hegarty’s work is the collision of nature and culture, past and present.

This is a project of Friends of the High Line. For more information, visit Friends of the High Line's public art page.

Barbara Kruger, Whitney On Site: New Downtown Commissions

Barbara Kruger,Whitney On Site: New Downtown Commissions
September 10, 2010 to October 17, 2010
820 Washington Street (at the Gansevoort Entrance to the High Line)
The High Line, Manhattan

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

Barbara Kruger produces a dramatic intervention that addresses the viewer with powerful and enigmatic textual statements and engages with the social history of the site. The artist has described her motivation for her installation as follows:

Because I've spent so many years in lower Manhattan, the streets are rife with remembrance. So I've tried to mark the site with a gathering of words about history, value, and the pleasures and pains of social life.

In contrast to her most famous works, which combine appropriated images with provocative texts, this installation uses her written statements to respond to the viewer's visual and temporal experience of the site and its surroundings. Some of the statements are drawn from Kruger's catalog of signature phrases like "YOU BELONG HERE" and "BELIEF + DOUBT = SANITY." Other statements respond to the neighborhood's shifting identity and address the changing industries that have inhabited it from meatpacking to fashion to art. Visible from the street and the High Line, Kruger's installation brings the viewer into an active engagement with the dynamic nature of 820 Washington and the way in which the fabric of the city in general is constantly undergoing transformation.

This is a project of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Miranda July, Pedestals for Guilty Ones. 2009, fiberglass composite panel, steel, urethane paint

Miranda July,Eleven Heavy Things
May 29, 2010 to October 3, 2010
Union Square Park, Manhattan

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

​Eleven Heavy Things, a series of 11 sculptures that encourage viewer interaction, was first exhibited within Giardino delle Vergini in Italy for the 53rd International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. This second incarnation of Eleven Heavy Things marks its United States debut.

The cast fiber-glass, steel-lined pieces are designed for interaction: pedestals to stand on, tablets with holes, and free-standing abstract headdresses. A series of three pedestals in ascending height, The Guilty One, The Guiltier One, The Guiltiest One, ask the viewer to ascribe his or her guilt relative to the people around him. A large flat shape, painted with Burberry plaid, hovers on a pole, waiting to become someone’s aura. Another hanging shape looks like an intricate lace headdress. A series of tablets invite heads, arms, legs, and one finger. A wider pedestal for two people to hug reads, “We don’t know each other, we’re just hugging for the picture.” July assumes and invites the picture — 11 photo opportunities, in a city where one is always clutching a camera. Though the work begins as sculpture, it becomes a performance that is only complete when these tourist photos are uploaded onto personal blogs and sent in emails — at which point the audience changes, and the subject clearly becomes the participants, revealing themselves through the work.

Fritz Koenig, The Sphere. Photo by Malcolm Pinckney, NYC Parks.

Fritz Koenig,The Sphere
March 11, 2002 to Present
The Battery, Manhattan

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

Fritz Koenig's The Sphere, a 45,000 pound sculpture made of steel and bronze, adorned the fountain at the World Trade Center's Tobin Plaza from 1971 to September 11, 2001. Bent and damaged, but still recognizable, the sculpture has been relocated to Battery Park, where it stands as a powerful temporary memorial commemorating the lives of those lost in the World Trade Center attack and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. On September 11, 2002, a dedication was held to officially recognize the artwork as an interim memorial and to light an eternal flame in memory of those lost.

The Sphere is on long-term loan from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Media Advisory

Courtesy of Creative Time

Key to the City
June 3, 2010 to September 6, 2010
Times Square, Broadway Between 43rd & 44th streerts, Manhattan

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

​For centuries, the key to the city has been used to honor a city’s heroes and visiting dignitaries. Now, artist Paul Ramírez Jonas has created a Key to the City that is not only a symbolic award, but also a functional key—opening spaces across all five boroughs of New York City. This Key to the City is intended for everyday citizens, who will award one another the key for reasons large and small. Once in hand, the key launches a citywide exploration of backdoors, front gates, community gardens, graveyards, and museums that suggests that the city is a series of spaces that are either locked or unlocked.

Key to the City is presented by Creative Time in cooperation with the City of New York. For more information, visit the Creative Time website.

Jean-Pierre Rives, Ribbons of Memory

Jean-Pierre Rives,Ribbons of Memory
February 16, 2010 to September 5, 2010
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan

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

Jean Pierre Rives, born the 31st of December, 1952 in Saint Simon, a suburb of Toulouse, France, revealed his passion for sculpture almost three decades ago and rapidly imposed himself as an unparalleled sculptor in the world of contemporary art. Well known for his world famous exploits as Captain of the French Rugby team in the 70s, we now find the same irresistible burst of strength in him as a sculptor and in his work. Jean Pierre Rives sculpture “Ribbons of Memory”, is a construction of cut and bent welded steel I-beams. He created this sculpture in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ribbons of Memory is a collaborative project proposed by D’Artagnan, in cooperation with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.

Tauba Auerbach, Whitney On Site: New Downtown Commissions

Tauba Auerbach,Whitney On Site: New Downtown Commissions
July 20, 2010 to August 29, 2010
820 Washington Street (at the Gansevoort Entrance to the High Line)
The High Line, Manhattan

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

​Tauba Auerbach considers the familiar, often anonymous appearance of construction sites around New York and the bustling activity that takes place on the site daily. Auerbach's installation imagines a monumental mining operation, with the office trailers and storage containers transformed by printed vinyl decals into slabs of geological material seemingly excavated from below the surface of the site.

Overlapping chain-link fencing and safety netting interact to create a complex pattern that shifts as viewers move in relation to it. Auerbach's installation elegantly and playfully inserts itself into the fabric of the neighborhood highlighting the dynamic transformation taking place on the location while encouraging a more active engagement with sights we pass over every day.

Baritone by Mia Westerlund Roosen

Mia Westerlund Roosen,Baritone, French Kiss, and Juggler
April 19, 2010 to August 28, 2010
Park Avenue Malls between 52nd and 54th Streets, Manhattan

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

New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce an exhibition of new sculptures by Mia Westerlund Roosen on Park Avenue from April 19 through August 28, 2010.  The current exhibition features three new works, Juggler, Baritone, and French Kiss on the Park Avenue Malls in the landscaped medians between 52nd Street and 54rd Street.

As a burgeoning artist working during the feminist movement, Westerlund Roosen used lead, encaustic, and textiles to study gender identity.  As her practice matured, she embraced concrete stucco as her medium of choice, as it allows her to create hand-molded pieces that retain a sense of vulnerability despite their significant corporal mass.  Her exhibition on Park Avenue continues her exploration of voluminous curves, palpable surfaces, and the sensual body, which she attributes to her continued fascination with dance. 

This project is presented in collaboration with Betty Cuningham Gallery and the Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee, with thanks to the Grand Central Partnership.

Antony Gormley,Event Horizon
March 26, 2010 to August 15, 2010
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

​The Madison Square Park Conservancy will present Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon, a landmark public art exhibition, as part of Mad. Sq. Art 2010.

In Event Horizon, thirty-one life-size body forms of the artist cast in iron and fiberglass will inhabit the pathways and sidewalks of historic Madison Square Park, as well as the rooftops of the many architectural treasures that populate New York’s vibrant Flatiron District. Event Horizon marks Gormley’s United States public art debut -- milestone for an artist whose work has garnered worldwide acclaim over the past 25 years.

Antony Gormley originally created Event Horizon for London’s Hayward Gallery as part of the Blind Light exhibition in 2007. The sculptures were installed on bridges, rooftops and streets along the South Bank of London’s Thames River. In this New York incarnation, Antony Gormley has adapted this exciting project to Manhattan’s unique and awe-inspiring skyline.

Unity Ribbon, Scherezade Garcia

Marcy Revens and Scherezade Garcia,In Dialogue
June 16, 2010 to July 31, 2010
St. Nicholas Park, Manhattan

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

In Dialogue, an exhibition of sculptures by Scherezade Garcia and Marcie Revens in St. Nicholas Park will be on view from June 16 through July 31, 2010.  The installation highlights two contemporary artists that unite the park’s history, community, and landscape. Last fall, CCNY created a special “studio” as part of its Master of Fine Arts program and a panel of artists invited Garcia and Revens to participate in the exhibition.

Revens’ installation Closer: In Conversation will include a series of mailboxes positioned along the parks’ pathways, where visitors will be encouraged to interact with the exhibit by leaving their own stories about the park in the mailboxes. Following the exhibition, these stories will be compiled into a ‘zine and distributed to the community. Garcia’s exhibition of three wooden ribbons, titled Unity Ribbon, was inspired by the history and geography of St. Nicholas Park, which is known as one of Harlem’s “ribbon parks” and references the “three ribbons” of Harlem (west, central, and east).

This is a project of the West Harlem Art Fund and the City College of New York.

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