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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Franz West, The Ego and the Id<br/>
Photo by Meg Duguid, NYC Parks

Franz West, The Ego and the Id
July 1, 2009 to July 16, 2010
Doris Freedman Plaza, Manhattan

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


The Ego and the Id is internationally acclaimed artist Franz West's newest and largest aluminum sculpture to date. Soaring 20 feet high, the piece consists of two similar but distinct, brightly colored, looping abstract forms, one bubble gum pink and the other alternating blocks of blue, green, orange, and yellow. Each of the forms curve up at the bottom creating stools that invite passersby to stop, take a seat, and directly engage with the artwork.

This is a project of the Public Art Fund.

Spencer Finch, The River that Flows Both Ways

Spencer Finch, The River that Flows Both Ways
June 2009 to June 2010
The High Line, Manhattan

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


The River that Flows Both Ways is a bank of colored glass windowpanes along the tunnel over Chelsea Market. For his project, Stephen Finch took one day to photograph the Hudson River's surface 700 times, taking one shot every minute. These images have been transferred onto 700 panes of glass and placed onto pre–existing windows, which have been installed in a semi–enclosed tunnel between 15th and 16th streets, above the New York City High Line, from which the river can be seen. The piece, which uses a single pixel point from the photographs for each pane of glass, is a study on the ever–changing color of water. The tunnel itself transforms throughout the day as the levels of light shift with time. The title is the translation for the Native American name of the Hudson River, Muhheakantuck.

Finch was born in New Haven, Connecticut and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. His works constantly seek to unveil the nature of light, color, perception, and memory. This project was organized by Creative Time, Friends of the High Line, and NYC Parks.

Guyton\Walker, Whitney On Site: New Commissions Downtown
May 8, 2010 to June 23, 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.

​The Whitney Museum of American Art is pleased to present the first in a series of commissioned works on the site of its future building. These installations will continue through October, allowing artists to respond to the dynamic urban context of the Meatpacking District and heralding plans to bring a downtown Whitney to the neighborhood. Guyton\Walker is a New York–based collaborative team comprised of Wade Guyton (b. 1972) and Kelley Walker (b. 1969).

Guyton\Walker’s project involves wrapping the site’s entire perimeter fence, a span of nearly 450 feet, with sheets of vinyl printed on both sides with brightly colored images of citrus fruits, bananas, and zebras, as well as bold graphic patterns, all of which are woven together digitally to form a kind of twenty-first century mural. A recurring motif of old-fashioned paint cans, recognizable through their metal handles, playfully captures the notion of the Whitney Museum bringing art for the first time to the site of its future facility. Circular holes will be cut at random intervals in the vinyl, providing pedestrians glimpses into the site, where the workings of the Friends of the High Line maintenance and operations team will be visible. Inside the fence, Guyton\Walker will adhere demountable vinyl decals printed with vivid patterns directly to the roofs and sides of some of the High Line maintenance trailers and to the paved area used for parking and plant staging. This festive intervention will activate and visually integrate the site as a whole, introducing playful disjunctions of scale and imagery that will act as a perfect complement to and analogy for one of New York’s most vital and changing neighborhoods.
For more information please visit the Whitney’s website.

Ujin Lee, Bojagi: Empty is not Empty. Full is not Full.

Ujin Lee, Bojagi: Empty Is Not Empty. Full Is Not Full.
June 11, 2010 to June 12, 2010
Washington Square Park, Manhattan

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

​Bojagi will feature a performance, an installation, and a public participatory event. Lee will carry out a two hour performance by stacking and placing 777 hand-carry sized boxes in front of the Arch at Washington Square Park. Each box will be wrapped with traditional Korean wrapping cloth, or bojagi, made of satin. When the boxes are all in place, the public will be welcomed to walk through the installation. After a two hour viewing, visitors will be encouraged to choose a bojagi-wrapped box to take home where they can reuse it in their everyday lives.

The performance will start at 10 am and last for about two hours. This will be followed by the viewing from 12 pm to 2 pm. The public participatory event will start at 2 pm and will end when the last box is taken away.

Through this project, it is the artist’s intention to share with the public one small and graceful thing we can do to save the planet, as well as to introduce the traditional Korean philosophy of living in harmony with nature. Bojagi has been used for wrapping and carrying goods in Korea from time immemorial.  Traditionally, people believed that the careful wrapping of objects not only showed respect but also brought good fortune and luck. Most importantly, this traditional wrap is not only practical, but also a sustainable and eco-friendly article due to its nearly endless reusability.

Lee is a recipient of the 2010 Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. For more information visit

Ernie Gehr, Surveillance
April 9, 2010 to May 14, 2010
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

​The four interrelated “digital playgrounds” that comprise Surveillance, a new four-channel high-definition video installation created in and about historic Madison Square Park by avant-garde filmmaker Ernie Gehr, take inspiration from two seemingly disparate sources. On the one hand a tribute to the lush environment, lively atmosphere and fundamentally recreational and replenishing character of public parks, Surveillance is also an acknowledgement and investigation of the proliferating presence of security cameras in public life; an attempt to poetically apply the aesthetic of surveillance in a manner that focuses the eyes and mind on the sensuous visual tableaux and fleeting moments of intimacy that make Madison Square Park such a treasured urban oasis. Gehr’s exhibition is located at the southern end of the Park.

This is a project of the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art Program. For more information visit their website.

Kate Gilmore, Walk the Walk
May 10, 2010 to May 14, 2010
Fountain Terrace, Bryant Park
Bryant Park, Manhattan

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

Walk the Walk is a dynamic sculptural and performance‐based artwork activated by six participants walking on the roof of a brightly painted structure. Set in a midtown Manhattan environment the artwork aims to transform the everyday world of the office workers and the spaces/cubicles they inhabit into a visual spectacle. Drawing attention to, and celebrating the mass amount of women that commute and work in the City, this installation questions the constraints we operate within.

The participants in the artwork will be a diverse group of women of different sizes and race. The only common feature will be their wardrobe: simple dresses and business shoes. Like an everyday office worker, these women will walk, march, and stomp for five workdays, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Bryant Park is the ideal site for Walk the Walk. Surrounded by skyscrapers (containing countless cubicles), it is the epicenter of midtown Manhattan. To paraphrase the Bryant Park website: Bryant Park is an urban oasis where thousands of nature‐starved office workers gather every day.

Peter Coffin's Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes), homage to Rodin's The Thinker. Photo by Jonathan Kuhn.

Peter Coffin, Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes)
October 1, 2009 to May 6, 2010
City Hall Park, Manhattan

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

Populating City Hall Park with monumental silhouettes of iconic sculptures, Peter Coffin’s Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes) installation takes the viewer on a journey through the history of sculpture in space and time. Allusions to Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker, an Easter Island moai, Louise Bourgeois’ Untitled (With Hand), one of Sol LeWitt’s Incomplete Open Cubes, and Pablo Picasso’s She Goat, among others, hover like apparitions throughout the Park. Ranging in size from eight to ten feet tall, their commanding sculptural presence is somewhat of an illusion; each work is only one inch thick. The sculptures slip in and out of view, similar to the way in which memories slip in and out of one’s mind. The decision to hold the vision in place or let it fade is left to the viewer.

The Sculpture Silhouettes refer to timeless icons drawn from the history of art. In transforming famous works of art into flattened silhouettes devoid of their original volume, Coffin engages the viewer to reflect and expand upon the existing associations each form’s representation evokes. This idiosyncratic sculptural survey creates an environment in which variations on seminal sculptures are experienced in a new and unexpected context. Provoking an interplay of associations, the Sculpture Silhouettes prompt the viewer to project the present onto the past, suggesting that history is constantly being rewritten.

Peter Coffin’s previous projects include constructing and flying a U.F.O. over the Baltic Sea and south‐east coast of Brazil, transforming a greenhouse into a “music for plants” performance space, and designing an elaborate machine that transports a single helium balloon along what could be its own, perhaps wind‐driven natural course. Playfully giving substance to the invisible and sometimes impossible, Coffin’s work invokes art history, fringe and pseudo science, social psychology, and epistemology to explore interpretation and perception.

Peter Coffin was born in 1972 in Berkeley, California; he lives and works in New York City. He has had recent solo exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2009); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2009); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009); Centre dʹArt Contemporain, Fribourg, Switzerland (2008); Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York (2008); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007); Le Confort Moderne, Poitier, France (2007); Herald St., London (2007); The Horticultural Society of New York, New York (2007); Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris (2007); and has participated in recent group shows including Altermodern: Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2009); Abstract America, Saatchi Gallery, London (2009), Untamed Paradises, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, Vigo, Spain (2008); and Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London (2007).

This is a project of the Public Art Fund.

Carole Eisner, Dali

Carole Eisner on Broadway
September 8, 2009 to April 23, 2010
Broadway, various locations, Manhattan

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

This exhibition of nine sculptures by Carole Eisner has been organized by the Broadway Mall Association in conjunction with the Parks Department and Susan Eley Fine Art. The display starts to the south with the whimsical “Walter” at Dante Park, located within the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, and continues north along seven malls maintained by the BMA, culminating with Eisner’s most recent work “Swizzle” at Mitchel Park. At each location viewers can hear the artist discuss her work by calling a special number with their cell phones.

Specific works and locations include:
Swizzle, Mitchel Square, Broadway at 166th Street
Giunta, Broadway Mall at 145-146 Streets
Circus, Montefiore Square, 137th Street
Dogon, Broadway Mall at 113-114 Streets
Puzzle, Broadway Mall at 91-92 Streets
Ziggurat, Broadway Mall at 83-84 Streets
Torque, Broadway Mall at 75-76 Streets
Dali’s Mustache, Broadway Mall at 67th Street
Walter, Dante Park, Broadway at 64th Street

Richard Baronio, Spotted Leaf

Richard Baronio, Spotted Leaf
June 2, 2009 to March 30, 2010
Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan

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

Richard Baronio’s Spotted Leaf  is perfectly suited for its temporary home at the Heather Gardens in Fort Tryon Park. Inspired by his love for gardening, Baronio’s work pays homage to the beauty found in nature. Through the technique of addition and subtraction, Baronio allows his work to grow on its own, never forcing its shape into any particular form. Spotted Leaf is an improvisational piece made from welded stainless steel.

City Lore, Birth of a City

City Lore, Birth of a City
September 1, 2009 to March 10, 2010
Bowling Green, Manhattan

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

On September 4, 400 years to the month from when Henry Hudson and some 20 seamen sailed their ship the Halve Maen (Half Moon) into New York Harbor, City Lore and NY 400 opened Birth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam and Old New York, celebrating the city’s colonial Dutch heritage with illustrated signs throughout lower Manhattan. A stencil on the sidewalk maps out the historic waterline, and demonstrates how the village of Nieuw Amsterdam was nestled within what is now the bustling Lower Manhattan cityscape.  An informal stroll along the marked pathway of Birth of a City shows how Dutch traditions of commerce, government, religious tolerance, and ethnic diversity helped shape the rise of New York and the United States.

Two of the twelve signs in the tour are in city parks, at Bowling Green and City Hall.

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