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The Daily Plant : Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summer Art In The Parks: A Round-up (Part II)

Setail pf Sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim

Yesterday, we highlighted some artistic offerings this summer in New York City parks. But those were not all! Here are a few more public art installations for your enjoyment.

Dennis Oppenheim at Union Square, Southeast Triangle, Manhattan, through October 31

Through the haze of New York summer, those who pass by Union Square will discover three spherical steel tumbleweeds, a new set of sculptures by Dennis Oppenheim titled Tumbling Mirage. The works are on the traffic triangle to the southeast of the park, and their reflective, fiberglass parts suggest motion in the summer heat. The project is sponsored by Edelman Arts, in cooperation with the Union Square Partnership.

Tom Otterness at Clumber Corner, Brooklyn, through December 31

Otterness’s Large Covered Wagon makes its way up a grassy hill at the edge of DUMBO, just below the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The bronze sculpture depicts a smiling, pipe–puffing pioneer woman steering a covered wagon with the assistance of her yoked bull. The installation is a presentation of the Walentas Foundation, Two Trees Management Co. and the DUMBO Improvement District.

Mia Westerlund at Thomas Paine Park, Manhattan, through October 31

Mia Westerlund’s Battenkill is an urban oasis at Thomas Paine Park. The sculpture, named for a river in Vermont, is formed by an open circular stucco wall that beckons park visitors to the benches inside, as running water trickles across the rim of the wall. The project is supported by Betty Cuningham Gallery.

James Yamada at Doris Freedman Plaza, Central Park Manhattan, through November 29

Part of the Public Art Fund’s “In the Public Realm” series, James Yamada’s Our Starry Night is a flower-shaped powder-coated aluminum metal detector that signals 1,900 tiny, colored lights to illuminate based on the amount of metal a person standing inside is wearing. The piece explores the ways that private information is dispersed, and the ways that public art is dependent on the people around it. (

Since 1967 the Parks Department has hosted over 1,000 temporary outdoor art displays in parks citywide. The works have included both readymade sculpture and installations inspired by the characteristics and landscape of a specific site. Some of the major exhibitions have included: Niki deSaint-Phalle and Jean Tingely (1968); Louise Nevelson (1972); Mark di Suvero (1975); Henry Moore (1984); Noah’s Art group show (1989); Fernando Botero (1993); Keith Haring (1997); Whitney Biennial (2002, 2004); Otterness on Broadway (2004); and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates (2005).


The squeaking wheel doesn't always get the grease. Sometimes it gets replaced.

Vic Gold

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