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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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Michael Sailstorfer, Tornado, Courtesy of Parks Art & Antiquities

Michael Sailstorfer,Tornado
September 20, 2011 to February 19, 2012
Doris 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 arresting sculpture is the first public commission in the United States by Berlin-based artist Michael Sailstorfer. It is a powerful response to the attributes of the site, for which it was conceived, and to the epic scale of New York City.

Rising more than 30 feet to meet the treetops of Central Park, Tornado brings together a series of opposite terms. It combines lightness and weight, with looming black “clouds” made from inflated truck tire inner tubes that gently shift in the breeze. Its muscular steel armature zigzags from top to bottom while the ballooning rubber forms that hang in bunches from its spiraling arms are knotted together in bulging clusters. Like a tornado, which is violently powerful but also literally made of air, Sailstorfer’s towering work provides a visceral experience of sculptural form and materials in tension, massive but also vulnerable.

Tornado is the largest in a series of the artist’s sculptures that draw on rubber tires, inner tubes, and ideas of movement and velocity. Much of his work engages with natural forces and the way we perceive them through form and physical space. At the same time, there is often a hint of whimsy in Sailstorfer’s art, conjuring a sense of playfulness, backyard experimentation, and visual wit.

This is a project by the Public Art Fund.

Kim Beck, Space Available. Photo by Tim Schreier.

Kim Beck,Space Available
March 4, 2011 to January, 2012
On rooftops along Washington Street, between West 13th and Gansevoort Streets
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:
Kim Beck presents three sculptures resembling the skeletal framework behind advertising billboards. These blank forms emulate the abounding indicators of the economic recession, such as empty storefronts and "For Sale" signs. Beck's sculptures have the illusion of depth when viewed from the front, but as visitors move past them, the side views reveal that they are completely flat, cut from perspective drawings and built like theater props.

A series of three sculptures are installed on roofs of buildings close to the High Line. They integrate seamlessly into the environment of the High Line neighborhood, echoing existing billboards and buildings in partial states of construction. The existence of the three reinforces their visibility and invites visitors to rethink the logic of what they are seeing.

This is a project by the Friends of the High Line.

Catherine Opie, Untitled (Stump Fire #4), 11? x 28? billboard photograph.

Catherine Opie,Untitled (Stump Fire #4)
September 9, 2012 to March 31, 2013
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:
Untitled (Stump Fire #4), an 11' x 28' photograph by artist Catherine Opie, is the newest installment of Socrates Sculpture Park's ongoing Broadway Billboard series.

Opie has created a mise-en-sc?ne of epic scope, drama, and mystery. Nature and artifice, light and darkness are just some of the contradictory elements of Opie's image that create an ominous tableau for us to contemplate. Neither a warm hearth, nor regenerative forest fire, we discover it is liquid, not wood, which is ablaze. The log stumps in the foreground are Opie's own handmade clay sculptures, which further heightens the surrealism of the scene. The image hovers between an apocalyptic figment of our imaginings and the possibility of nature run amok. What is clear, however, is that all is not well within our environment or psyche. Untitled (Stump Fire #4) is from a series of new work and will be part of an exhibition at Regen Projects, Los Angeles in 2013.

Catherine Opie is one the great photographers of this generation and documentarian of our American landscape and people. A graduate of CalArts, she currently teaches in the studio program at the University of California at Los Angeles. Select solo exhibitions include Catherine Opie: Figure and Landscape at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010), Catherine Opie: American Photographer at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2008), Catherine Opie: Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2006). Opie was a 2009 recipient of the President's Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Women's Caucus for Art and was awarded a United States Artists Fellowship in 2006.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

Patrick McDonough, Awning Studies: SOCRATES, 2011,
Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Patrick McDonough,Awning Studies: SOCRATES, 2011
September 10, 2011 to March 4, 2012
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:

​Awning Studies: SOCRATES, 2011 by Washington DC-based artist Patrick McDonough, is the culmination of a three-month Public Art Residency (PAR) Program, established in partnership with the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA).

A collaboration between Socrates and the WPA was initiated in 2010, to introduce artists from the District of Columbia area to the practical and conceptual issues related to the creation of public art. McDonough is the second recipient of this award. The PAR Program is an extension of the Park's ongoing OPEN SPACE series, a forum for single artists and collaborative projects.

Awning Studies: SOCRATES, 2011 continues McDonough's exploration of the awning as a key architectural adornment that is central to the domestic vernacular of the northeastern United States. His project takes the form of a series of fabricated awnings without buildings: some installed in tress, some arching over the water and others rising on a combination of steel and clear acrylic supports.

This is an exhibition by Socrates Sculpture Park.

Socrates Sculpture Park, EAF 2011, Courtesy of Parks Art & Recreation

EAF 11,2011 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition
September 10, 2011 to March 4, 2012
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:

The EAF11 exhibition launches a year-long celebration of the Park's 25th Anniversary. After a five-year expansion of two additional artists per year, the EAF11 exhibition also marks the first annual initiative to support twenty artists. The 2011 fellows are: Cecile Chong, Joy Curtis, Nadja Frank, Ben Godward, Darren Goins, Ethan Greenbaum, Jesse A. Greenberg, Rachel Higgins, Roxanne Jackson, Hong Seon Jang, Jason Clay Lewis, Saul Melman, Jo Nigoghossian, Nick Paparone, Don Porcella, Jessica Segall, Walter Benjamin Smith, Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, Nicolas Touron, and Nichole van Beek.

Fellowship artists are awarded a grant and a residency in the Park's outdoor studio and are also provided with technical support and access to tools, materials, and equipment to facilitate the production of new sculptures for exhibition in the Park. The artists develop their projects throughout the summer in the open studio and on site in the landscape, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the creation of the works that are then installed in the Park. Representing a broad range of materials, working methods and subject matter, the diverse sculptural works in this exhibition are presented against the spectacular waterfront view of the Manhattan skyline.

This is an exhibition by Socrates Sculpture Park.

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