Fort Greene Park

Kate Newby: How Funny Are You Today, New York

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
No. 51

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) are pleased to announce the installation of New Zealand artist Kate Newby’s latest site-specific sculpture exhibition, “How funny are you today, New York,” which will be on view through November 25, 2012. This new work builds on her ongoing interest in creating work that is ephemeral and often peripheral, which is slyly integrated into public environments. Situated in the historic setting of Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, a place where art, life, tradition, and culture have coalesced for centuries, Newby was inspired by a pronounced boulder that locals call the “grey painted rock.”

Newby, an ISCP resident, has fashioned two seats out of concrete, stones from Fort Greene Park, mortar, and crystals, which now converse playfully with the existing boulder and the park’s environment. Guided by a desire to directly address the world around her and building on her 2012 exhibition at the Olive Street Garden in Brooklyn, Newby has once again challenged her immediate environment with a lighthearted sensibility. Creating a space where semi-precious and industrial materials get integrated seamlessly into the urban landscape, Newby’s installation invites park visitors to stop and rest or play while simultaneously forcing the viewer to address the artist’s reconsideration of the environment’s norms.

Newby wants the work to be thought of as an autonomous sculpture, something practical, where the seats will function as both artworks and utilitarian objects. Not clearly stating what they are, the rock seats propose a question as to their origin and purpose, an ambiguous status Newby is interested in occupying.

Newby is interested in addressing the world around her through direct, literal gestures. Her actions engage with conditions of actual space, taking place in varied environments from traditional art institutional spaces, to more ephemeral and transitory spaces such as, parking lots and footpaths. Newby’s spatial adjustments and three-dimensional interventions range from large-scale sculptural directives, such as concrete or brick walls, floor-to-ceiling screens, curtains, and adjustable panel structures, to barely visible marks, stains, and small temporal murals. Newby’s work has been exhibited internationally and in the New York area. Recent exhibitions include, All parts. All the time, Coopers Park and Olive Street Gardens, Brooklyn, New York (2012); I’m just like a pile of leaves, Auckland Art Gallery; Toi Aotearoa, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland (2011); Melanchotopia, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); Crawl out your window, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, (2010). In 2012 Newby participated in the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) based in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. Newby is currently based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The International Studio and Curatorial Program is a leading nonprofit, residency-based contemporary art institution for emerging to mid-career artists and curators from around the world. ISCP has hosted over 1,300 artist and curators, giving residency opportunities to 100 artists every year. The organization annually presents a series of innovative exhibitions and public programs both on- and off-site, while engaging and fostering a relationship with the community of New York.

The City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation 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.

Directions to Fort Greene Park

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