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Dag Hammarskjold Plaza

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Three Monumental Sculptures By Mexican Artist Juan Soriano On View


Photo Courtesy of the Artist

NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program is proud to announce the exhibition Juan Soriano in New York City: Monumental Sculpture at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. Three of Juan Soriano’s sculptures are on view in the park, located on 47th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Pájaro III (Bird III), Pájaro de Dos Caras (Bird with Two Faces), and Paloma de Bronce (Bronze Dove) are on view through April 2015. This exhibition is Parks’ 18th temporary art installation in collaboration with the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza since 2000.

Mexican artist Juan Soriano (1920-2006) was an independent voice during the years that murals by Rivera, Siqueiros and Orozco dominated Mexican art. Soriano put distance between his art and theirs, creating an individual vision in painting, ceramics, stage and costume design, and monumental sculptures. Inspired by the popular and indigenous arts of Mexico, Soriano also drew on Cubism, German Expressionism, Fauvism and the Paris artists of the interwar period.

Soriano was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in a household of nannies, four sisters and thirteen aunts always dressed in black in varying stages of mourning. These women had a profound effect on his art, especially his portraits of women. At an early age he was already considered a very talented artist and at age 14 he had his first exhibition. Just one year later in 1935, after the encouragement of fellow artists, he moved to Mexico City and entered the social circles of progressive intellectuals and artists. However, after a period he felt trapped by the dogmatic imposition of the muralists and left for a long journey through Europe.

He was in constant search for new expressions, and was, in his own words, afraid of auto complacency. During his search in the mid 1980s he shifted to monumental sculptures that were often semi-abstract representations of animals from his imagination. He intended for people to actively interact with these imaginary animals—to touch them, see them and question their existence. The current show of three oversized birds also demonstrates his whimsical side.

This exhibition is presented by The World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, The Consulate General of Mexico in New York, The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and the Fundación Juan Soriano y Marek Keller.

NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/parks/art.

MILLION TREES NYC STEWARDSHIP DAY EDGES TREES CLOSER TO MILLION GOAL

On October 25, 495 volunteers took part in MillionTreesNYC’s Fall Stewardship Day. Stewardship Day took place at eight locations including, Van Cortlandt Park, Raoul Wallenberg Forest, Inwood Hill Park, two locations at Alley Pond Park, Clove Lakes Park and Conference House Park.

Volunteers arrived and received a demonstration on stewardship work and how to plant trees. They were then set to work on planting trees with shovels, wheelbarrows and tools in tow. One volunteer came with his parents who were visiting from Ohio and chose to spend the day planting and caring for trees rather than go sightseeing.

As of October’s Stewardship Day with 913, 765 planted trees, MillionTreesNYC edges closer to its goal to plant and care for a million trees.

MillionTreesNYC was launched in 2007 with the goal of planting and caring for a million trees citywide by 2015. MillionTreesNYC offer workshops in addition to events that teach tree care and foster stewardship.

Trees are vulnerable when they are young and recently planted. Therefore active maintenance can help ensure their long-term survival. You can even become a Street Tree Steward to care for newly planted street trees in your neighborhood.

To learn more about MillionTreesNYC or how to become a Tree Steward, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself."

William Blake

(1757-1827)

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