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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.

Celebrating 50 Years of Art in the Parks

Join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of our Art in the Parks program! Visit more than 50 public artworks currently on view in our parks, and celebrate with us at our upcoming anniversary events!

Celebrate 50 Years of Art in the Parks

Public Art Map and Guide

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

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Courtesy of NYC Parks.

Malcolm D. MacDougall, Microscopic Landscape
June 14, 2012 to March 31, 2013
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Sharing a natural dialogue with Union Square at the vibrant nexus of New York City is Malcolm D. MacDougall’s sculpture, Microscopic Landscape. The 24 foot, 7,500 lb work “is about potential energy and pushing a stagnant object as close to perceived movement as possible.” The constant motion found in Union Square is a microcosm teeming with diversity that defines the city, finding its inspiration in the multifaceted structures of the sculpture, and in turn inspiring this artist to observe activities as seen on the molecular level. The sculpture serves as a snapshot of the ongoing activity in the neighborhood; it is a static object that maintains the constant anticipation of movement, just as the grounds of Union Square provide the framework for the energetic flow of people and commerce. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Union Square Partnership.

Image courtesy of NYC Parks.

Monika Sosnowska, Fir Tree
October 24, 2012 to February 17, 2013
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:

This 40-foot-tall steel sculpture by Monika Sosnowska marks the threshold between the urban environment of midtown Manhattan and the landscape of Central Park. The artist has used pulleys, cranes, and other heavy machinery to manipulate a spiral staircase to resemble an evergreen tree. No longer climbable, its stairs cascade around the central shaft of the sculpture like weighted tree limbs. The ribbon-like railing forms a twisting red line against the black silhouette of the sculpture. As if piercing the pavement with industrial force, Fir Tree (2012) conjures an image of skyscrapers with steel roots below the city.

For more than ten years, Sosnowska’s work has explored our psychological relationship to the built environment, creating complex installations that alter our perceptions of familiar objects and spaces. Based in Warsaw, Sosnowska often works with architectural elements associated with Eastern Europe during the Soviet period. Fir Tree echoes the industrial steel staircases found on the exterior walls of Polish housing blocks. Here, this once-functional object refuses to serve its intended purpose. Instead it becomes an animated and outsized metaphor, testing the bounds of a familiar form as it reaches toward the urban skyline.

This Exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Oscar Muñoz, Re/trato
October 25, 2012 to December 12, 2012
High Line Channel 14, 14th Street Passage, on the High Line at West 14th Street
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

One of Colombia's most influential artists, Oscar Munoz has created an impressive body of work that investigates memory and history, and the ways both intertwine with our contemporary society. In Re/trato, a human hand paints a man's portrait on a concrete sidewalk by using a brush and water. Reflecting on the ephemeral nature of identity, the work highlights the liminal space between remembering and forgetting, between an image and its obliteration.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection
November 8, 2012 to December 9, 2012
South of Pavilion
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The voices and images of recent veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as Vietnam veterans, animate the historic bronze commemorative statue of Abraham Lincoln that has stood silently in Union Square since 1870. The sculpture by Henry Kirke Brown (who also sculpted the George Washington at the park's south plaza), was commissioned by the Union League Club, in the wake of the president's assassination, as a lasting testimonial.

Wodiczko interviewed 30 veterans or their family members over the course of several months for Abraham Lincoln, and used 14 taped conversations about their war experiences and the toll of duty on their family life. These points of views, presented in each person's own words, voice, and gestures, are projected via sound and light onto the figure of Lincoln.

The project is organized and sponsored by More Art.

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