View Full Version : Sculpture on the Streets of Manhattan

December 29th, 2001, 12:01 PM
This is from Public art page (http://wirednewyork.com/art/public/) of Wired New York:

Louis Bourgeois Spiders in front of the GE Building in July of 2001.


Turbo and Ferryman, two works by internationally acclaimed British artist Tony Cragg in July of 2001.


Joan Miro's "Moonbird" sculpture (1966) on 58th Street plaza of the Solow building.


January 19th, 2002, 03:57 PM
Very cool stuff. *I like seeing art displayed on city streets. *Perfect setting.

January 19th, 2002, 06:34 PM
Here is another recent installation.

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X. 1989-99
Stainless steel and resin painted with acrylic urethane.

Sculpture inside the glass atrium of *IBM building (http://wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/ibm-building/) in January of 2002.


January 27th, 2002, 06:19 PM
The typewrite eraser and the spiders are really dramatic.

July 30th, 2003, 09:41 PM
Mariko Mori
Wave UFO

Wave UFO in the glass atrium of the*IBM building (http://www.wirednewyork.com/ibm_building.htm).


Mariko Mori's
Wave UFO

590 Madison Avenue at 56th Street
Sponsored by Bloomberg

On view May 10 - July 31, 2003

New York, New York - Beginning May 10, the glass atrium of 590 Madison Avenue will take on an otherworldly atmosphere when the Public Art Fund presents Mariko Mori's Wave UFO, a stunning sculptural object and viewer participatory installation which epitomizes Mori's ongoing exploration of the relationship between the individual and an interconnected cosmos. This ambitious presentation of Wave UFO in New York is made possible by Bloomberg.
Wave UFO - an all-encompassing project that comes after three years of research - fuses real-time computer graphics, brainwave technology, sound, and state-of-the-art architectural engineering to create a dynamic interactive experience. The connection between technology and spirituality, increasingly important in Mori's work, is effected here through the use of specially designed computer programs and scientific equipment that monitor and visually interpret the participants' brainwaves.

Drawing upon the Buddhist principle that all forms of life in the universe are interconnected, Wave UFO seamlessly unites actual individual physical experience with Mori's singular vision of a cosmic dream world. Within the tranquil interior of the work, Mori sends participants, three at a time, on an aesthetic voyage that seeks to connect three individuals to each other and to the world at large.

Wave UFO: The Structure
From the outside, Wave UFO is an immense shimmering sculpture, shaped like a drop of water and appearing to hover a few feet above the ground. It measures 34 feet long x 17 feet wide x 14 feet tall. This fiberglass shell houses an interior capsule, which viewers enter via a series of resin lily pad shaped steps. Inside Wave UFO, three viewers at a time recline on a Technogel chair - a spongy, comfortable surface - to watch a 7-minute projection on the domed ceiling above.

Wave UFO: Real Time Brain Wave and "Connected World"
The video projection that takes place inside consists of two parts, which flow seamlessly together. Each viewer is outfitted with a set of electrodes, which gather brainwave data. This information is instantly transformed into visual imagery, in real-time correspondence with the actual activity of the brain, and projected onto the screen: Six undulating bio-amorphous cells represent the left and right lobes of each of the three participants' brains, and a waving line moves in correspondence with blinks and other facial movements. This instant biofeedback thus incorporates the experience of watching the projection, and the interaction between the three viewers. The forms change shape and color in response to three types of brainwaves, showing which type is most dominant. Alpha (blue) waves indicate wakeful relaxation, Beta (pink) waves indicate alertness or agitation, and Theta (yellow) waves indicate a dreamlike state. When the two cells come together, that demonstrates "coherence" between the two lobes of the brain. Mental functions such as thinking in other languages or doing math problems immediately transform the characteristics of the graphics.

The second part of the projection, "Connected World," links the individual experience to the universal through a graphic animation sequence, based on a series of paintings made by Mori. Colorful abstract forms slowly expand and evolve into shapes like single cells and molecular structures, creating a dream world that is at once primordial and ethereal. With this sequence, Mori brings the viewer from the live biofeedback stage into what she describes as "a deeper consciousness in which the self and the universe become interconnected."

With Wave UFO, her most technically ambitious project to date, Mariko Mori adds to an accomplished body of recent work that has revolved around the universal themes of spiritual journey, beauty, emptiness, and enlightenment. In 1999 she created the Dream Temple, a high-tech installation based upon the ancient Buddhist Yumedono Temple in Nara, Japan (739 A.D.), a work that could be experienced by only one person at a time. Mori first became known in the 1990s for her engaging, highly stylized photographic and multimedia works that blended animation and pop culture with Japanese ritual and cultural tradition. These works - which often starred Mori herself as shaman, cyber-chic girl, goddess, or another mythical character- were typically set in otherworldly landscapes and made using up-to-the-minute technologies.

Mariko Mori's Wave UFO in the atrium of 590 Madison Avenue (at 56th Street) will be on view May 10 - July 31, 2003. Hours are Tuesday 10am - 8pm; Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 7pm; and Sunday 11am - 5pm. This exhibition is free.

A special press preview will be held on Friday, May 9 from 11am - 5pm; please call the Public Art Fund for reservations at 212-980-4575.

This exhibition of Mariko Mori's Wave UFO is sponsored by Bloomberg. Additional support was provided by Melissa and Robert Soros. Special thanks to Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Deitch Projects, and Marco Della Torre. Additional project support provided by Shiseido Co., LTD, Technogel, Lechler, and Zumtobel Staff, The Light.

About Mariko Mori
Mariko Mori, born in Tokyo, was educated at the Chelsea College of Art, London (1989-92) and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. She has had recent solo exhibitions and installations at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Centre Georges Ponpidou, Paris; Prada Foundation, Milan; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Serpentine Gallery, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Deitch Projects, New York.

About the Public Art Fund
The Public Art Fund is New York's leading presenter of artists' projects, new commissions, installations and exhibitions in public spaces. With twenty-five years of experience and an international reputation, the Public Art Fund identifies, coordinates, and realizes a diversity of major projects by both established and emerging artists throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides a unique platform for an unparalleled public encounter with the art of our time.

The Public Art Fund is a non-profit arts organization supported by generous gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations, and with public funds from The New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

August 9th, 2003, 04:36 AM
August 8, 2003


A Seasonal Migration of Cultural Scope


Slide Show: Outdoor Art (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2003/08/07/arts/20030808_KIMM_slideshow_1.html)

IT is summer, when some of us will look for any flimsy excuse to be outside. There are people who can sit on a stoop, point their chins toward the sun and call it a day. I admire them. But there are also those of us, guilt-ridden, who need to feel we are going somewhere or doing something. The city, accommodating of most relatively harmless psychological maladies, fortunately satisfies a neurotic's needs with endless options, some frivolous, others less so.

As an option, art can go either way. That art pops up outdoors around now is one of the civic rituals of the season, like Shakespeare in the Park, guys hawking beers from Hefty bags in shopping carts at pick-up baseball games and street vendors with flavored syrups dispensing shaved ices. (Tamarind is a popular choice.)

A virtual industry of artists and arts organizations springs into action when the weather turns sultry. They are almost a community unto themselves. They move to the roofs and courtyards of museums. They take over leafy patches of city parks and try to spruce up concrete plazas. They have their spots where devotees know to congregate. Lately they have also been venturing onto the Astrovision screen in Times Square, competing for attention with the underwear billboards by providing a minute's artistic stimulation each hour, a noble lost cause.

It seems grumpy and possibly beside the point to say that on the whole outdoor art is bad. So I won't mention it. Let me stress instead that this year, as in most years, some of it turns out to be fine or even very fine. You can manage to kill a sunny summer morning and afternoon happily outside looking at art and in the process feel virtuous for being so productive. I did it. Here are some highlights of my day.

Sarah Sze

It began with peering into a pit. I don't know about you, but having been to the Whitney Museum innumerable times, I can still count on two hands how often I have ventured into the museum's dour sculpture court, below street level along Madison Avenue. Occasionally I have seen curious passers-by furtively glance down from the sidewalk wondering what may have fallen there. The court functions as a light well for the museum's restaurant. Otherwise it doesn't function at all.

During the cold war, when teachers trained schoolchildren to duck and cover under their desks and nervous suburbanites built bomb shelters in their backyards, architects came up with the idea that museums should put galleries, courtyards and sculpture gardens in what used to be the basement. Needing more room and congenitally reluctant to say no to architects, museums went along with the idea. Anyone who has been in even the most commodious underground gallery knows what happened. The Museum of Modern Art's former underground galleries were as spacious as any of the rooms upstairs, but they felt oppressive and low. People instinctively realize where they are in relation to street level, and everyone senses that it is unnatural to be below ground unless you are dead.

But what do you know, the Whitney's courtyard has been temporarily salvaged by Sarah Sze, a modern master of bric-a-brac. The large sculpture she has installed is a kind of makeshift geological dig, cleverly exploiting its subterranean locale. From the street you peer down on an archipelago of blue plastic islands dotted with toy mountains and bottles of window cleaner. From the court looking up, you gaze more clearly at seven strata of miniature grassy platforms, aquariums and junk connected by an elaborate Rube Goldbergian armature of pipes. Water pours and burbles from a few of the pipes. Mostly the pipes are just for show.

Cement and gravel "rock puddles" (also just for show) pretend to support the pipes, meanwhile alluding offhandedly to Japanese gardens and Robert Smithson's "Spiral Jetty." The work's title, "The Triple Point of Water," refers to a combination of temperature and pressure at which water can simultaneously be gas, liquid and solid. This may have something to do with the snowy mountains and the burbling water.

All of that hardly matters. The work is simply a hoot. It took an army of five people three weeks to build, using 33 small aquariums, some of them filled like mini-dioramas with Styrofoam animal skeletons; 60 square feet of fake grass; 7 bottles of Windex; 7 fans; 60 empty plastic water bottles; 2 bottles of honey; 300 toy mountain peaks; 5 earplugs; 3 empty containers of cream; 500 feet of orange string; 3 credit cards and 1 feather. Debra Singer, the curator, told me that a single bird occasionally roosts in a grassy nook.

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein's sculptures are on the Met's roof this summer. To tell you the truth, I have never found them as compelling as his paintings, but up there they look as good as they ever have. They stand cheerfully against the skyline. The colors are mostly primaries, as usual. Picked out by the August sun, they gleam like flags. The effect is heraldic.

The tallest are like painted metal pillars, the height of flagpoles, suggesting blowsy women. Lichtenstein loved wry jokes. Here the humor, aside from the obvious point of evoking flesh with metal, entails riffing dryly on Picasso, de Kooning, Pollock and other modern art heavies whom Lichtenstein admired. A sculpture of a brush stroke becomes the flowing hair of a de Kooning-like woman attached to "Girl Before a Mirror," Picasso's famously ripe, intricately patterned painted homage to his blond lover Marie-Thérèse Walther, which Lichtenstein adapts to sculpture.

Lichtenstein was also fascinated by how artists over many centuries represented shadows and planes of color, from medieval stained-glass artists and tapestry designers to comic book illustrators using Benday dots. This was the funny thing about Lichtenstein: everyone took him to be a jokey Pop artist slumming in cartoon characters, but he immersed himself in the conventions of art history and visual perception and didn't care particularly about popular culture.

The showstopper on the Met roof is his big sculpture, almost like a folded origami, imitating a child's drawing of a house, with a triangle for the roof and rectangles for the walls, squares cut into the rectangles for windows, through which you now see the tops of apartment buildings and office towers. The sculpture is one of those perceptual tricks: it seems to recede when looked at from either front or back. Nan Rosenthal, the show's curator, has installed it on a grassy podium, like a little mowed patch of suburbia, which hides the supporting steel beams.

Wim Delvoye

The problem outdoor sculptors in New York City must overcome is New York City. Wherever you are, there is almost always something to look at. Central Park is one of the world's great works of public art. Rarely do you feel a pressing need for a sculptor to come and liven up the view. (Christo and Jeanne-Claude are promising to do so.) Nor do many New Yorkers have so much free time that they will linger before a sculpture if it does not grab them by the lapels and compel them to stop.

Theatricality is therefore a virtue for outdoor sculpture in the city. Show me, we challenge an artist.

Meandering south from the Met, I landed at Doris C. Freedman Plaza, where Wim Delvoye has answered that challenge admirably. His sculptures there, at the southeast corner of Central Park, and in Madison Square Park are Gothic versions of modern machines and building equipment. Call it Gothic Revival revised. Mr. Delvoye is a provocateur. You may recall that he devised a machine for producing excrement that made tabloid headlines not long ago. His strategy is subtler this time and more entertaining. On the plaza he has put "Caterpillar," a full-size sculpture of an excavator, its backhoe forming an arch at the entrance to the park.

The material is Cor-Ten steel perforated with medieval filigree and coats of arms: fleurs-de-lis, lions and eagles, spires and columns. Imagine a metal doily nearly the size of a log cabin, and you roughly get both the scale and the mixed signals. The work looks simultaneously heavy, lumbering, intricate and airy. At the south end of Madison Square Park, near 23rd Street, are his cement mixer (evoking the choir of a church), a wheelbarrow, traffic cones, a shovel, a pile of sand, barricades and another excavator, which vaguely resembles Notre Dame in Paris. All steel, all differently filigreed.

Mr. Delvoye, a Belgian, once painted gas canisters with blue Delft windmills and hired Indonesian woodcarvers to make a baroque-ornamented cement truck out of teak. He coined the word "glocal" for his blends of Old World motifs and modern industrial subjects. Now he's poking fun, I assume, at Richard Serra and other American sculptors who use steel and heavy equipment, with religion as the ironic subtext for modernism's spiritual undercurrents. He's also alluding to the city itself, and the familiar metaphor of skyscrapers as today's Gothic cathedrals. The best compliment a jaded New Yorker can give him is to say that after a stroll through glorious Central Park, his excavator is not a letdown.

Jeremy Blake

I neglected to mention a stop after Central Park and before Madison Square Park, in Times Square, where Jeremy Blake is the latest artist to participate in "The 59th Minute: Video Art on the Times Square Astrovision," a joint project of Creative Time and Panasonic. His work is called "Cowboy Waltz" and was inspired, I gather, by a haunted house in California. It consists of three one-minute videos.

As for appearing on the 59th minute, incidentally, that turns out to be either wishful thinking or an approximation. Within sight of the screen are half a dozen digital clocks disagreeing about the time. My watch said 12:56 when one episode of Mr. Blake's work suddenly appeared: florid ink drawings, abstract patterns and woozy designs in saturated colors, like Rorschach blots morphing into a final blaze of light. Some people, accustomed to advertisements and the subtitled sight of Katie Couric, may have thought the screen's computer had contracted a virus.

Mr. Blake is clearly hoping to insinuate his art into the sensory consciousness of the crowds passing through Times Square, if only subliminally. To an art critic, young artists' fascination with 1960's psychedelia came to mind. So did a work by Robert Gober from the 1980's, now at the Venice Biennale: a film of a painting changing.

Mr. Blake, who describes his works as moving paintings, would no doubt describe himself as a painter using digital equipment. He introduces the elements of time and narrative — abstract narrative — into the medium of painting, sacrificing the aura of the one-of-a-kind handmade object. I also prefer to think of him this way. Digital art still conjures up projects primarily about technology. Mr. Blake's work is more aesthetically arresting than most digital art.

Whether passing tourists will register it on their way to Toys "R" Us or MTV doesn't really matter in the end. There are limits beyond which even the most theatrical outdoor artist can't be expected to go. To coincide with "Cowboy Waltz," several of Mr. Blake's videos are being shown at the American Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, where there is no guitarist singing in his underwear or toy store with a life-size model of a Tyrannosaurus rex vying for attention.

City Hall Park

Next, City Hall Park, lunch time, the benches full of smooching lovers and office workers picking at salads from plastic take-out containers. Passing families of out-of-towners identified themselves by grappling with folded city maps on the way to ground zero or Century 21. Not too many people seemed to register the sculptures discreetly tucked into the greenery. It even took me a minute to spot Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz's "9 to 5" (1996): elegant bronze faucets strapped to trees with bronze pears appearing to drip into bronze buckets.

Nearby, less inconspicuous but still little noticed by the lunch crowd, Peter Rostovsky's "Monument" is an improbably steep and craggy mountain peak, about the height of a basketball hoop. On top of it stands a small man wearing a business suit. Unless he is Clark Kent, he is not going to get down from up there. I take that to be the comic message of the work, from 2000, but I also wonder whether it was selected for this site because it can bring to mind the people who died in the twin towers, or conversely, whether it was chosen despite that unpleasant association.

More conspicuous, "Witch Catcher" (1997) is Brian Tolle's sculpture of a chimney that twists into a spiral at the top. Mr. Tolle designed the Irish famine monument a few blocks away. He grasps the mordancy of ruins and memorials. I remember as a boy seeing a house burn down in the country. Only the chimney remained. "Witch Catcher," notwithstanding its surreal punch line, reminded me of that house poetically.

Other Forays

From City Hall Park, which is to say Lower Manhattan, you can ride the Staten Island Ferry to see 86 manhole covers decorated with herons, ospreys and other local bird and plant life and trimmed with sea creatures. Elizabeth Turk designed them for a residential stretch of Seguine Avenue at the southern end of the island as part of the city's Percent for Art program.

Alternatively, you can head to Brooklyn. I won't linger over my own foray to Brooklyn and then Queens. For serious followers of outdoor sculpture who must see everything each summer, all these stops are obligatory. For everyone else, they are not.

In brief, the plaza at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus on Flatbush Avenue, as usual, has a sculpture show. Peter Lundberg has concocted something resembling a huge Möbius strip made of cement and steel. In adjacent window bays of the university's humanities building, Lisa Mordhorst has hung slender panels with photographs of desert landscapes. The effect is slightly arresting and grimly decorative. Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua have built a shack from junk: the intention seems to be to cross Red Grooms with Thomas Hirshhorn, to give it the kindest interpretation. Suffice it to say that nothing here redeems this forlorn plaza and some of it makes the situation slightly worse.

Next to the Brooklyn Bridge, in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition is presenting its 21st annual outdoor sculpture show. The park is a scruffy green stretch along the water with spectacular views. Not enough of the 31 artists make good use of the extraordinary location. Several roughly carved wood beams by Matthew Weber, evoking Donald Judd and Magdalena Abakanowicz, are plunked down as if arbitrarily. Anna Golici has made an uncomfortable bench from a tree, facing not the water but Nicolae Golici's grim one-liner: a small house wrapped in plastic and duct tape.

A few works allude not very subtly to the attack on the World Trade Center, which used to be what you saw across the bridge. Kasra Paydavousi has made an oversize wood sculpture of a praying man; Miggy Buck's sculpture consists of a crucifix dancing with a crescent and a Jewish star. On a sunny day at least the sight of waves crashing against the rocky embankment and tugboats lugging barges down the river partly compensated for what the show lacked in visual punch.

Finally I stopped into Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, a mecca for outdoor sculpture mavens. The annual summer show was ending its run, and a few other people had also come to see it or maybe they were just looking for a place to be outside. A woman lazily tossed a tennis ball to her dog. A couple of teenagers snuggled along the East River. A little girl played in a sandbox that had a circular "No Children Allowed" diagram on it, which was part of one of the artworks.

"Penumbra" by Jean Shin, which will still be around this weekend, provided the best shade, as the title promises. Strung between trees, it is a canopy of broken brown, blue, red and black umbrellas that Ms. Shin found on the street.

A man was standing in the dappled light under it, and it took a few seconds for me to make out what he was doing. He held a fishing line with a live eel writhing on the end. Did he catch the eel in the river? His young daughter was alternately laughing and screaming. His wife looked on impassively, as if she had seen this many times. He pulled a switchblade from his pocket, noticed me, smiled nervously, seized the eel and sliced it in two. I mention this because art is not always what's most memorable when you are wandering around New York on a hot summer afternoon.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

September 11th, 2003, 09:53 PM
"Tongari-kun" (Japanese for "Mr. Pointy"), a 30-foot-tall Buddha-like figure with multiple arms and a pointed head -- Takashi Murakami's largest sculpture ever -- presiding over the scene at Rockefeller Center (http://www.wirednewyork.com/manhattan/rockefeller_center/default.htm).

http://wirednewyork.com/images/city-guide/rockefeller-center/rockefeller_murakami_10sept03.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/manhattan/rockefeller_center/)

Surveying this scene are two gigantic "eyeball" balloons, each 30 feet in diameter, floating 60 feet in the air above the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink.

http://wirednewyork.com/images/city-guide/rockefeller-center/rockefeller_murakami_baloon.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/manhattan/rockefeller_center/)


Enter Artist Takashi Murakami's Fantasy World
At New York City's Rockefeller Center

Exhibition opens September 9, 2003; presented by Target Stores

NEW YORK, May 27, 2003 - This fall, New York City's most famous plaza will be transformed into a fantastical pop cityscape. Takashi Murakami at Rockefeller Center: Reversed Double Helix, a major outdoor art exhibition organized by the Public Art Fund on behalf of Tishman Speyer Properties and presented by Target Stores, will open on September 9, 2003 and run through October 12. This all-encompassing installation-Murakami's most ambitious U.S. solo show to date-will feature all new work including a large freestanding sculpture, two giant floating balloons, and a forest of mushroom seating.
A 30-foot-tall Buddha-like figure with multiple arms and a pointed head-the artist's largest sculpture ever-will preside over the scene in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. "Tongari-kun" (Japanese for "Mr. Pointy") as he is known in Murakami's universe of characters, will be flanked by four smaller figures. Low-lying mushrooms, a familiar motif in Murakami's artwork, will surround the central sculpture and serve as seating areas for visitors. Surveying this scene will be two gigantic "eyeball" balloons, each 30 feet in diameter, floating 60 feet in the air above the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. Murakami will also design the flags surrounding Rockefeller Center to complete the dazzling aesthetic transformation.

The exhibition subtitle, "Reversed Double Helix," refers to the twisted spirals of DNA strands and plays upon Murakami's universe of mutant cartoon characters, where wide-eyed mushrooms coexist with multi-armed giants, happy flowers, and elfin creatures. Characterized by horizontality, bright acrylic patterns and flat unblemished surfaces, Murakami's works are an inspired mix of tradition and modernity, as Japanese Nihon-ga paintings of the 19th century meld with pop culture influences like Andy Warhol's Factory and Walt Disney animation. With its formal sophistication and ever-gleeful cast of characters, Murakami's art appeals on a purely visual level even as it references religion, subcultures, and art history.

In addition to his work as an artist, Takashi Murakami is a curator, entrepreneur and a student of contemporary Japanese society and its efforts to define itself in a post-war era. His interdisciplinary approach to art production culls from the current popularity of otaku-animated films (anime), comics (manga), music and fashions inspired by Japanese youth culture. In 2000, Murakami curated an exhibition of Japanese art titled Superflat, which acknowledged a movement toward mass produced entertainment and its effects on contemporary aesthetics. Murakami is also internationally recognized for his recent collaboration with designer Marc Jacobs to create handbags and other products for the Louis Vuitton fashion house.

About Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami was born in Tokyo and received his BFA, MFA and PhD from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He has had recent solo shows at Marianne Boesky, New York (2003); Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris (2002); Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2001); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2001); and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris (2001).

About the Public Art Fund
The Public Art Fund is New York's leading presenter of artists' projects, new commissions, installations, and exhibitions in public spaces. With 25 years of experience, the Public Art Fund identifies, coordinates and realizes a diversity of major
projects by both established and emerging artists throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides a unique platform for an unparalleled public encounter with the art of our time.

Exhibitions at Rockefeller Center
Tishman Speyer Properties is the co-owner and manager of Rockefeller Center, which is the site of numerous public exhibits and events, including the New York International Orchid Show and the upcoming Centennial of Flight exhibit that will take place July 29 - August 18, 2003. The annual art installation at Rockefeller Center is consistent with Tishman Speyer's commitment to bringing world-class art to the public in its more than 40 buildings around the globe. Tishman Speyer has earned a worldwide reputation for innovative utilization of public art in its signature commercial properties, which include Rockefeller Center and The Chrysler Center in New York City, and the Sony Center in Berlin.

Rockefeller Center and Public Art Fund have presented other major works of art to the millions of people who visit and work at this New York landmark. Last summer, Nam June Paik's Transmission broadcast a nightly laser display around the plaza. In 2000, Jeff Koons' monumental topiary Puppy blossomed at the foot of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and the following year, Louise Bourgeois presented three massive bronze spiders, including the thirty-foot-tall Maman. In 1998 eight Auguste Rodin bronzes from the Collection of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor were exhibited in the Channel Gardens. Each day an estimated 250,000 people walk through the Rockefeller Plaza complex, which is home to the most famous Christmas Tree in the world.

About Target Stores
Minneapolis-based Target Stores serves guests at 1,167 stores in 47 states nationwide, including 13 stores in the New York metropolitan area, by delivering today's best retail trends at affordable prices. Whether visiting a Target store or shopping online at target.com, guests enjoy a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to thousands of unique and highly differentiated items. Target Stores, along with its parent company Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), gives back more than $2 million a week to its local communities through grants and special programs. Since opening its first store in 1962, Target has partnered with nonprofit organizations, guests and team members to help meet community needs.

For More information please contact:

Douglas Kline
Target Stores

Amanda Domizio
Ruder Finn Arts & Communications Counselors

# # #

Public Art Fund
tel: (212) 980-4575
e-mail: press@publicartfund.org

November 13th, 2003, 10:50 PM
November 14, 2003


Raising Lichtenstein in Manhattan


Maquettes for Lichtenstein's "Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight."

This weekend a team of five riggers will begin assembling a 50-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture of four colorful brushstrokes in the octagonal rotunda of the former Tweed Courthouse, renamed City Hall Academy as the New York City Education Department's new headquarters.

"Element E," created by the Pop Art master Roy Lichtenstein 13 years before his death in 1997, captures the moment when a thick paint brush is drawn across a canvas.

The sculpture is one of four Lichtensteins being installed this weekend in Lower Manhattan. Others will be in City Hall Park and in the lobby of City Hall.

The installation has been organized by the Public Art Fund, a nonprofit institution that presents art around the city, and is being financed by the Lichtenstein estate and by Forest City Ratner Companies, the real estate developer. But the idea to put art, specifically Lichtenstein — a born and bred New Yorker — in Lower Manhattan reflects the influence of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Since Mr. Bloomberg took office almost two years ago, his support of the arts has been visible in ways big and small. In January he asked the Public Art Fund to organize a temporary exhibition of outdoor artwork in City Hall Park. (Much of City Hall Park was closed to the public for 10 years, for both renovations and security concerns during the Giuliani administration, and no art was on view there.) The mayor also gave his blessing for the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to festoon 23 miles of Central Park's walkways with billowing saffron-colored fabric in February 2005. Moreover, every invitation from the mayor's office shows a work of art from the city's collection. Even the Green Book, the city's official directory, has begun to display an artwork on its cover. The first, for the 2002-3 edition, showed Keith Haring's version of the Statue of Liberty. The latest, the 2003-4 Green Book, features "I Love Liberty," a 1982 Pop image by Lichtenstein.

"The mayor definitely cares about art and about making people see the world in different ways," said Patricia E. Harris, the deputy mayor for administration.

"He had seen Lichtenstein's `Brushstroke' in front of the Seagram Building," she added. "And when we were standing in the atrium of the City Hall Academy, he thought it would be great to install a Lichtenstein there, especially now that the public is allowed to have tours of the building."

The installation of "Element E" (1983-84) in City Hall Academy's 85-foot-tall rotunda will be the first time the sculpture will have been shown in its full-size version. The piece was originally commissioned for the sculpture gardens of the Stuart Collection at the La Jolla campus of the University of California, San Diego. Lichtenstein created a group of small-scale wood maquettes for what was intended as five different large, varied brushstroke sculptures near the student center. But financing for the fabrication and installation became a problem, and the sculptures were never made.

"Element E" was the tallest of the five. When Dorothy Lichtenstein, the artist's widow, and Jack Cowart, director of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, heard that the mayor was interested in putting a sculpture in City Hall Academy, they decided to fabricate it in fiberglass rather than steel, as Lichtenstein had intended, because fiberglass is lighter, easier to install and easier to fabricate in sections. Since doorways and corridors of the Tweed building are narrow, the sculpture had to be made in four pieces and assembled on site. The work is three stories tall, and each brushstroke is a different color, ranging from deep red to black.

Once plans for "Element E" were under way, the Public Art Fund decided to expand the installation into City Hall Park. The Lichtensteins will be the second exhibition of art in City Hall Park during Mr. Bloomberg's term. The first, on view from January until last month and also organized by the Public Art Fund, was "MetroSpective," a selection of work by different artists originally displayed at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn.

Stephen Mazoh, a private art dealer from Rhinebeck, N.Y., lent Lichtenstein's "Brushstroke Group" (1986) to City Hall Park. The piece has been on public view several places before, notably in the Lichtenstein retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1993, when it stood outside the Frank Lloyd Wright building on Fifth Avenue.

Also on view in City Hall Park is "Endless Drip" (1995), the artist's witty homage to Brancusi's "Endless Column." It is being lent by the artist's estate.

A 1996 bronze sculpture, "Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight," has also been lent by the estate and is to go in the lobby of City Hall. It is a two-sided bronze bust. One side, showing a woman's face and flowing hair, is dark blue, as if lighted by moonlight, while on the other side her hair is yellow and her face flushed red, as if bathed in sunlight. "This project sends a message that the arts are alive in this city," said Susan Freedman, president of the Public Art Fund. "It's important to the morale of the art community."

City Hall Academy and City Hall are generally closed to the public, but free guided tours of the buildings and works in the Lichtenstein exhibition will be given, by appointment, on selected Fridays at 2 p.m. Information: (212) 788-6865.

Maquettes for Lichtenstein's "Element E." New York City is installing large versions of this and other works of his.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

November 17th, 2003, 04:29 AM
November 17, 2003

A Pop Art Jigsaw Puzzle Is Assembled Deftly


The parts of the sculpture "Element E" are united in the rotunda of the Tweed Courthouse. The work arrived in four pieces.

Cramming a 55-foot-tall sculpture into the Tweed Courthouse rotunda is not an easy job. In terms of sheer difficulty, the task probably lies somewhere between building a ship in a bottle and stuffing a Steinway up a stovepipe.

But when the sculpture in question is one created by the Pop Art guru Roy Lichtenstein, cost $150,000 to build, and was basically commissioned at the behest of the mayor himself, there is a touch more pressure on the shoulders of the guys responsible for assembling the piece, which is why Jay Merrick was being very, very careful yesterday afternoon.

"Steady it — side to side in the back," called out Mr. Merrick, the foreman of the crew charged with setting up the sculpture, "Element E."

The 5,500-pound sculpture of four swooping brush strokes made of fiberglass arrived at the courthouse, now the headquarters of the Department of Education, in four pieces. Getting them inside the building was the easy part. By the end of the day, those four hunks would be stacked one atop another, rising 55 feet through the courthouse's elegant Italianate rotunda.

Well, assuming nothing crashed to the ground.

Anyone who has ever lugged a couch up to a fifth-floor walk-up apartment could sympathize with Mr. Merrick and the crew from Mariano Brothers Inc., a rigging company, as they prepared to hoist the third piece into the air inside the rotunda yesterday afternoon. They were essentially working against the dimensions — trying to fit the pieces into a snug rotunda whose size had been shrunken by interior scaffolding and metal supports.

"We're essentially slipping a 55-foot sculpture through your front door," said Richard Griggs, project director of the Public Art Fund, the nonprofit institution that organized the exhibition of four Lichtenstein works that are being shown in Lower Manhattan this fall. "It's a remarkable moving job."

Two pieces of the black-and-red sculpture already stood vertically in the rotunda, still wrapped like mummies in blue tarps, duct tape and protective felt blankets. The outside of the sculpture is fiberglass, with an aluminum frame hidden inside, and the pieces connected through tubes that jutted from the bottom of one into the top of another.

The first two pieces went up with only minor difficulty, but the third piece would be the trickiest, said Frank Mariano, one of five Marianos who were working on the job yesterday. The sculpture's third section is the only portion that sits horizontally, giving the crew far less room to hoist it into place without banging into something.

Nudging that piece into place at the mouth of the rotunda, the crew unwrapped it and prepared to attach the cables and harnesses needed to haul it skyward. One man touched the piece and left greasy fingerprints on the black surface.

"Look at that, man," Mr. Merrick clucked. "You just had fried chicken."

Above him, three men climbed through a web of scaffolding and prepared the six-ton rig and chains that would lift the third piece. Suddenly, a knife dropped from the scaffolding and clattered against the marble floor.

"Where'd it go?" one of the men yelled.

The knife located, the job continued. With painstaking care, the crew lifted the third piece into the air, guiding it between the Scylla and Charybdis of scaffolding on one side and the rest of the sculpture on the other. At times, it swung like a giant uvula, and the crew yelled out, "Up! Up! Up!" or "Hold! Hold!"

"It's a real nail-biter," said Natasha Sigmund, of the Lichtenstein Foundation, who had come to watch the assembly. "This is tight."

When a work of Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp was cracked during transport, Mr. Duchamp declared the damage part of the art, and would not allow repairs. The assembly crew yesterday was a bit more cautious, taking 90 minutes to lift the third piece 10 feet off the ground.

"If this comes up and you scratch the work, it's pointless," said Peter Mariano, as he perched on the scaffolding.

But there were no scratches and no crashes yesterday. All four pieces were lifted and lowered, and they fit. The sculpture is bolted to the ground, and barring any disasters, will stand at Tweed for the next year. But Tom Eccles, the director of the Public Art Fund, was already forming an exit strategy.

"How the hell we're going to get it out of here is the question," he said.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

November 18th, 2003, 11:45 AM
Tours will be given by appointment on selected Fridays at 2 p.m.? I guess I'll never see it then, too bad. I appreciate the effort by Bloomberg, but I wish these pieces of art were a little more public.

Here's a new piece of street art on Prince Street.....nothing significant, but it's the thought that counts.


July 18th, 2004, 07:14 AM
July 18, 2004

Art to Crawl Around In All Summer Long


Franz West's aluminum sculptures at Lincoln Center meet his first requirement for art: they can be touched.

RATHER too lumpy, way too candyland-colorfully dressed to be New York chic, seven recent arrivals at Lincoln Center disembarked from a flatbed truck instead of the typical tourist bus. And like many another group of visitors before them, they stood out immediately — but not at all uncomfortably — nearly vibrating with ingenuous energy on a brilliant summer morning.

Franz West, the Viennese impresario who is responsible for these characters, likes to think of them as "fairy tale figures, maybe slaves and emperors," but without any specific story to tell or identifiable place of origin. "A narrative, but a narrative that you can't understand what it means," he says in heavily accented English. "If you put the figures together in a frieze, there's a story, but it's a nonsense story." Fittingly, the squat triangle these sculptures form conjures up a playful pediment for Lincoln Center's decidedly unplayful high-modern columned temples.

"Topos," which means a conventional motif, is a word Mr. West uses to identify what he finds dispensable in art; anything that undermines the "psychical" dimension makes him grimace. Like all of the works of Mr. West, at 57 perhaps Austria's most highly regarded living artist, there is nothing hackneyed about these monumental, apparently crudely constructed, aluminum sculptures. ("Like a horrible wrapping paper job at Christmas," said Tom Mare, supervising three young children climbing around the chartreuse "Laube," or "Arbor" in English.)

To begin with, they are meant to be used; and at any time of day it is clear that their audience — which includes everyone passing by Josie Robertson Plaza — needs no invitation to violate the core rule of looking at art: "Don't touch." Children climb on them, languid young women recline, muscled men try to chin and those looking for a photo op — and there are many — don't simply pose or point but lean, crawl in or embrace. (These are certainly not behaviors one sees at the Henry Moore "Reclining Figure" in the North Plaza or Elie Nadelman's colossal figures in the New York State Theater — and probably not only because the former is surrounded by water and the latter are high on pedestals.) On a recent afternoon, children favored the yellow "snail"; adults the green "divan."

Mr. West has spent his professional life relocating the aesthetic experience. The earliest physical pieces (his roots are in performance art) for which he became known were "passtücke" — "adaptives," made in the 1970's. These were roughly breadbox-size, amorphously shaped plasters of little glamour but idiosyncratic, funky appeal. People were meant to pick them up, carry them around, incorporate them into whatever activity they devised. In so doing, they completed the artwork by revealing something — awkward, funny, poignant or neurotic — about human behavior. As Robert Storr, a professor of modern art at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts and the curator of the current Site Santa Fe Biennial (whose theme is "Our Grotesque"), in which Mr. West is represented, has written, "It is people's ridiculous attempts at accommodating themselves to a world of uncanny things that forces them to acknowledge their psychological as well as physical alienation from given reality." ("I love the color, it looks like mustard," said Danny from Brooklyn, who was wearing a yellow rucksack that matched "Meeting Point 3." He added a scatalogical pun, not knowing he was intuitively sensing Mr. West's wicked play on the "plop in the plaza," the designation critics have given to the problem of unsuccessful public art.) At least that was the intention. Today, he says of the passtücke that "actually very few people did pick them up at the time."

Mr. West, who looks a little like a cross between Albert Einstein and Walter Cronkite, says everything with a straight face, but his restless blue eyes often seem to be winking. A much-repeated story about him provides a helpful insight. In 1968, at the end of the most brutal, most transgressive, most body-fluid-filled, invective-spewing performance by artists associated with the brazen Viennese Actionist movement, Mr. West, a 16-year-old student in the stunned audience, stood up. "Thank you very much," he said. "I enjoyed your performance enormously." Then, addressing the assembly, he continued, "I think these gentlemen have earned a round of applause," thereby moving an ideological attempt at an authentic primal experience into the self-conscious realm of scripted theater.

Any shyness on the part of those who picked up the passtücke did not dissuade him from continuing to make art to satisfy himself: endearing, odd upholstered furniture; mysteriously shaped, peculiarly painted plaster and papier-mâché boulders; and individual monumental pieces that he showed — or better, offered — in dozens of international biennials, museums, two Kassel Documentas and other sites, including Edinburgh's very proper Royal Botanic Garden for the 2001 Edinburgh Festival. "What I would demand, expect, like in art was touch," Mr. West said. "You would go into a museum or a gallery, and it could be so boring, simply a place for contemplation of the art. I am making what I want for myself, a gift to myself. I would like to go to sculpture that I can touch, that I can sit under. It has also to do with hapticality — the physical properties against my body and my face, and also my knee, some materiality. And yes, I like to see what other people do with it."

He would never do an installation like this in Vienna. "There are too many expectations," he said. "They know me, I know them." Displaced to New York, the work (manufactured in Austria) has a sense of "unreality" for him — a crucial ingredient. As a child in postwar Vienna, Mr. West lived in a spare International style building, and he felt something was missing. It was "too rational, like the living of insects, or beasts," he said. It made him long for what was missing. "Art is the best solution for this missing piece," he said. "Art makes the difference between man and animals. Not simply to eat food and to reproduce. Man is an animal with illusion, and for me art is the illusion."

This is the first time that Lincoln Center, which is juggling the demands of its constituents and the public in its ambition to redevelop and make its campus more inviting, has included the visual arts in its summer programming. (The sculptures remain on view through August.) It is clearly a crowd-pleasing addition, judging by the way theatergoers and participants in the Midsummer Night Swing events have encrusted the sculptures, ranging from the 20-foot-high "Dorit," which resembles a distressed Pepto-Bismol pink internal organ, on down. The installation was organized by the Public Art Fund and selected by its director, Tom Eccles, as was a complementary installation of two pieces at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza on the southern end of Central Park at Fifth Avenue. There, the lipstick-red and taxi-yellow "Mercury" sculpture-benches make the transient colors around Grand Army Plaza pop in a revelatory way. Jennifer Prediger, in New York from Washington and in a vacation mood, said she was thinking ketchup and mustard. "The aluminum gives me the urge to squash it like a beer can," she said.

Back at Lincoln Center, shortly before curtain time, Johnathan Pirsos, 6, and his brother Milton, 5, from Manhasset, on Long Island, were sliding on what Johnathan called a "giant blue duckbill" — "Couch" — where they made a new friend, Abby, 7, from the Upper West Side. Abby liked the way her toenail polish matched the sculpture. Her mother, Dale, whose brother was in the band playing in the plaza that evening, thought it was great that the installation "brought the kids together."

"It's like a Rorschach test," she said. "You see different things. That blue one" — "Ypsilon" — "reminds me of a shark with its head in the sand." The boys' father, Milton, was initially anxious. "I thought we were defacing art," he said. "I was going to tell them to get off."

Like Goldilocks, Sara Campbell from Brooklyn tried other pieces before deciding that the flat surface of "Laube" was just right to settle down with a book. "I've already had several people take my picture and others ask me to photograph them," she said. She felt certain that "if someone was kicking people off, it would have happened by now."

And Mr. West, watching the activity, was glowing. "I can't imagine this installation being in a better site," he said. "It's really a place of culture." And in the setting sun, who could tell if Mr. West was winking?

Amy Newman is the author of "Challenging Art: Artforum 1962-1974."


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

July 30th, 2004, 11:41 PM
July 30, 2004


Lovable and Funny, They Show Abstract Sculpture Can Be Friendly


An installation of sculptures by the artist Franz West at Lincoln Center.

Who would have thought it would be the Viennese avant-gardist Franz West who would produce the most lovable works of this year's outdoor sculpture season?

Mr. West, who was born in 1947 and is much appreciated by progressively minded critics and curators in the United States and Europe, is known for making intentionally ugly art and mock furniture. Seen in the sleek upscale spaces of Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea last year, his big, gnarly abstractions made of roughly welded-together patches of aluminum and painted in retro colors like avocado and bubble-gum pink looked like the sort of thing that would particularly incense people who dislike modern art. With their lumpy, severely dented surfaces, they looked as though they'd been rolled around in a giant clothes dryer or attacked by sledgehammer-wielding philistines. They seemed less like real artworks than joke sculptures for the cognoscenti.

Seeing similar works in outdoor displays organized by the Public Art Fund at Lincoln Center and at Doris C. Freedman Plaza, the busy southeast corner of Central Park, the impression is completely different. Far from being snide or elitist they are comical, friendly and intriguing, like a kindergartener's hugely enlarged papier-mâché creations. Seven of these works placed in a row at the top of the steps leading into the Lincoln Center plaza, with the tallest piece in the middle and the others in descending order to either side, constitute a zany visitors' welcoming committee.

The tallest, a 20-foot-high pink column of four balls on a vertical pole, suggests the tail of an overgroomed poodle or a topiary bush. The others include a y-shaped, turquoise-colored piece like a simple tree with a single low, stumpy branch to sit on; a wobbly, copper-colored corkscrew shape, ironically titled "Bronze," which rises from a semirustic pedestal of unfinished wood; two tubular pieces in the form of big double loops colored refrigerator white and olive green respectively; an aqua-colored volume that looks like a partly squashed space capsule; and another tubular piece in bright yellow that's like a giant banana bent into a loop in the middle.

The two sculptures at Doris C. Freedman Plaza look like weird inflatable boats, each about 20 feet long, and are colored respectively exactly like your local diner's ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles. The red one has pointed ends like a kayak and three pointed, upright cones projecting from its top surface. The yellow one has blunt ends and bulbous projections vaguely like air funnels on a ship.

To viewers coming upon them on a hot summer day when there's a lull in the pedestrian traffic, Mr. West's sculptures may seem forlorn, pathetic and perhaps deservedly neglected by the general public. Hang around for a while and you discover something remarkable: it seems people really like them. Children, drawn to them like squirrels to trees, love to climb on them and grown-ups are grateful to sit on their lumpy but surprisingly comfortable surfaces. Passers-by laugh at them and make disparaging comments but good-naturedly. You don't see the expressions of suspicion, annoyance or boredom that you do on the faces of viewers of more serious works.

Unlike outdoor monuments designed to remind us of noble moral or aesthetic ideals to which few of us can ever hope to measure up, Mr. West's works embody the ordinary imperfections of everyday life. They are antiheroic and anti-idealist, but not programmatically so. Neither are they abject or pathetic; they don't wallow in negativity. Ungainly and absurd as they are, they seem to happily accept themselves and whatever comes into their space. They are viscerally sensuous, but as vaguely representational constructions they are also mysterious; you wonder what they mean. All this makes them irresistible.

The audience responsiveness is not just incidental. Mr. West is one of many producers of public art who have wanted people to interact physically with their works. (George Sugarman, Mark di Suvero and Scott Burton are three others who come to mind.) After his student years in Vienna during the heyday of Viennese Actionism, the mid-60's movement that had artists doing extremist, often dangerous and illegal public performances meant to aggressively provoke bourgeois observers, Mr. West wanted to orchestrate more agreeable relations between artworks and viewers.

He made sculptures that he called "adaptives" — rough plaster objects that he meant for viewers to pick up and do something improvisational with. He also began producing rudimentary furniture of welded rebar — concrete reinforcing bar — and cheap fabric upholstery that he meant for people to actually use.

So the sculptures on view now are logical extensions of what Mr. West has been doing for a long time. The difference is that whereas the social interactivity in his work has been as much theoretical as actual, with these new outdoor sculptures, theory gives way almost entirely to practice. What he has achieved is something rare: a genuinely popular populist avant-gardism.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

November 19th, 2004, 07:39 AM
November 19, 2004

Some Exhibits You Just Can't Miss


The Freedom of Expression National Monument was on exhibit at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan for three months.

Two weeks ago, as small children clambered up a giant bronze sculpture in Harlem, Parks Department workers were gingerly erecting a 70-year-old limestone statue, fresh out of storage after 14 years, in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.

The week before, Julian Opie, a British artist who rarely has shows in New York, installed a large exhibit of sculptures in and around City Hall Park, including two full-size three-dimensional steel cars "parked" on lower Broadway. And in February, 23 miles of pedestrian paths in Central Park will be draped with saffron-colored cloth, the first major public work by the artist Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, in New York City.

Public art is popping up around New York in numbers not seen since the early 1980's, when the city began requiring that one percent of the budget for certain city construction projects be spent on artwork. In the three years since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office, the number of temporary public art installations around the city has more than doubled, to 49 pieces by 38 different artists, the greatest number in two decades, and more are on the way.

"It is palpable now after a 10-year hiatus that there is an administration in City Hall that really recognizes art as part of a great civilization," said Susan K. Freedman, the president of the Public Art Fund, the largest installer of public art in the city.

In some cases, places that have not featured art in years, like City Hall Park, are dotted with works again. Other spots where public art has never graced the scene, like Court Square Park in Queens, Tremont Park in the Bronx and the lawn of Gracie Mansion, have been the sites of installations.

The surge in public art, said artists, those who work with them, and some government officials, is fueled by City Hall, where Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, with Mr. Bloomberg's support, is quietly trying to make artwork a major part of the cityscape.

Ms. Harris, who ran the city's Art Commission during the Koch administration, has pressed city agencies to work closely together to make sure that artists are given access to and help with installing temporary and permanent art shows. And she has turned to the private sector to help pay for installing works.

"There is a long-term effort to try and involve artists in how the city will look in the future," Ms. Harris said.

Wednesday, at the reopening of the Museum of Modern of Art, Mr. Bloomberg credited Ms. Harris with the his administration's interest in the arts. "Since we sit about two feet away from each other," he said, "even if I wanted to walk away from the arts I couldn't."

Artists, buoyed by the resurgence, are increasingly looking to get their pieces installed in parks and other venues around the city, said Adrian Benepe, the city's parks commissioner, who oversees most of the installations. "Without soliciting artists," Mr. Benepe said, "we are getting more inquiries from artists and the galleries that represent them." Particularly inspiring was the installation of 22 large bronze sculptures by Tom Otterness along Broadway from Columbus Circle to 168th street, Mr. Benepe said.

The Madison Square Park Conservancy, which maintains the refurbished park, blighted not so long ago, has begun to feature the work of sculptors like Mark di Suvero, who is known for his large works in steel.

"Facing the public outdoors at no cost is very appealing to artists," said Stewart Desmond, a spokesman for the conservancy. "They become part of the landscape of the city, seen by tourists, people hurrying to work and kids in playgrounds. It is a very egalitarian gallery."

The rise of art in public spaces is an extension of Mr. Bloomberg's attempt to make City Hall friendly to the art world, which became alienated under the administration of Rudolph W. Giuliani after numerous public battles, most memorably when the city set up a "decency commission" to evaluate art that benefited from public funds after the dispute over the "Sensation" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Mr. Giuliani and his subordinates were frequently critical of the Art Commission, whose task is to approve aspects of many city projects, and while City Hall was generous with capital money for the city's cultural organizations, it did not drive a citywide art agenda, said Ms. Freedman and several others.

The Bloomberg administration has taken the opposite course, involving City Hall in aesthetic matters both small and significant. In renovating City Hall, a landmark building, it borrowed nine paintings and three sculptures from the Whitney Museum of American Art and borrowed other works for the lawn of Gracie Mansion and the Tweed Courthouse, which houses the Department of Education.

The Percent for Art program - in which capital projects must include an artistic component - has been revitalized, and the Department of Cultural Affairs is producing a book featuring 20 years of its works. One of the latest examples of the program is an interactive work, aboard three new boats in the Staten Island ferry, that features a portal on the bridge decks with videos of the ocean floor and recorded sounds of the sea.

Mr. Bloomberg has also revived mayoral arts awards, which he personally gives out, and he oversees private dinners at New York cultural institutions - events aimed at attracting donors and new board members. Under Ms. Harris's direction, renderings of New York Yankees' trophies on the city's phone directories - the Green Books - were replaced by reproductions of contemporary art. All city commissioners have been told to work closely with the art commission on public works projects.

"This City Hall is rather interested in and concerned about the design and look of infrastructure projects," said Iris Weinshall, the transportation commissioner, who cited Ms. Harris's personal interest in projects like monitoring the design of 22 new pedestrian bridges over the Belt Parkway.

Before he was elected, Mr. Bloomberg served on the boards of three cultural institutions in New York, including the Central Park Conservancy, which for 25 years had rejected the proposal by Christo Jeanne-Claude to drape Central Park in fabric.

Mr. Bloomberg, who was always enamored with the project, made an effort to revive it. "When the mayor first came to City Hall, we agreed that I would explore it," Ms. Harris said. She persuaded the board, and Mr. Benepe, to reconsider the project once the artists scaled down their vision and assured them that no wildlife or trees would be harmed.

The project will be the first public exhibition in New York for the two, who once wrapped the Reichstag, in Berlin, in white cloth and scattered several thousand blue and yellow umbrellas across Japan and California. Mr. Bloomberg is convinced that this work will draw tourists from around the world, some of them public art buffs who traipse to works like turtle watchers to the Galápagos Islands.

Artists are not always aware of the administration's hand in getting projects together, but they like the result.

"We really are going through a renaissance right now in public art," said Mr. Otterness, whose project lining Broadway had to wind its way through three community boards, the Parks Department and the Department of Transportation, all with City Hall quietly working behind him. (His work can also be seen in the 14th Street subway station on the Eighth Avenue line.) "And I can just see the results. A lot of the mechanics are sort of opaque to me, but I just know I was protected from up above."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 7th, 2005, 11:16 PM
Chinatsu Ban. VWX Yellow Elephant Underwear/HIJ Kiddy Elephant Underwear, 2005. Fiber-reinforced plastic, steel, acrylic paint, urethane.

A project of Public Art Fund and the Japan Society.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/art/chinatsu_ban_elephant.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/new_york_art.htm)


Part of Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture
April 8 - July 24, 2005
Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Public Art Fund presents a series of four public art projects as part of Little Boy, a major exhibition hosted by Japan Society Gallery. The exhibition and public installations, all curated by Takashi Murakami, explore the astoundingly popular phenomenon called otaku, a Japanese youth subculture obsessed with fantastic and apocalyptic science fiction, fantasy, video games, comic books (manga) and film animation (anime), whose visual and musical forms are rapidly becoming globalized.

Since she first began making art in 1997, Chinatsu Ban has developed a singular aesthetic style, creating acrylic paintings and sketches of elephants and human figures that float on a blank rice-paper background or in front of candy-colored stripes. V W X Yellow Elephant Underwear/H I J Kiddy Elephant, Ban’s first foray into sculpture, formally resembles her many colorful elephant drawings. With wide eyes, large bodies with small appendages, and no mouth, Ban’s pair of elephants are irresistibly cartoon-cute. But, for the artist, they are also charged with intense meaning and personal symbolism. Like Louise Bourgeois, in whose work spiders frequently appear as a totem of maternal protection, Chinatsu Ban’s elephants have a talismanic relationship to her own childhood. This dates back to a small elephant figurine she once bought, which became a charm and a reassuring symbol of peace and safety.

Cuteness is an obsession for Ban, and her depictions are tinged with psychological edge. The Japanese word for “cute” is “kawaii.” More than just an adjective, the word has taken on tremendous cultural resonance in recent decades; the Japanese teen magazine CREA once noted that kawaii is “the most widely used, widely loved, habitual word in modern living Japanese.” From Hello Kitty, who first appeared on stationary products in the early 1970s, to more recent phenomena like pop duo Puffy AmiYumi, Japanese contemporary culture and the consumer goods market are saturated by all things kawaii. Anything can be made cute, even, in this case, a pile of elephant poop.

Artist Bio
Chinatsu Ban was born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in 1973. She completed her degree in Oil Painting at Tama Art University in 1995. She has had solo exhibitions at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2005), Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo (2003) and Canolfan, Nagoya (1998). Her work has also been shown at LAFORET Harajuku, Tokyo (2003), NADiff, Tokyo (2002), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2001). Ban currently lives and works in Japan.

This presentation of Chinatsu Ban’s sculpture is made possible through the cooperation of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, and The Honorable Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture is sponsored by Microsoft.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by The W.L.S. Spencer Foundation and Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. and Kaikai Kiki New York, LLC.
Additional support is provided by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, The Rosenkranz Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Asian Cultural Council, The Blakemore Foundation, the Japan Foundation, and the Leadership Committee for Little Boy.

Artist support for this exhibition has been generously provided by Yoko Ono.

Transportation support is provided by Japan Airlines.

Doris C. Freedman Plaza is located at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. Nearest subway: N, R to Fifth Avenue or 4, 5, 6 to 59th Street.

May 8th, 2005, 02:06 PM
Edward, can you give an update on other locations for viewing outdoor pieces? I'll be in town on the 20th-22nd. Is the typewriter eraser still on public disply?

May 9th, 2005, 10:27 PM
Edward, can you give an update on other locations for viewing outdoor pieces? I'll be in town on the 20th-22nd. Is the typewriter eraser still on public disply?
Eraser is long gone. See Public Art Fund website at http://www.publicartfund.org/ for current exhibitions. But you are in luck - here is the sculpture by Damien Hirst that is much better than the eraser. That's the kind of powerful art New York needs - the city should ship the impotent sculpture of the downtown bull to some provincial town and put this one in its place.

Damien Hirst. The Virgin Mother. In Lever House (http://www.wirednewyork.com/lever_house.htm) courtyard.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/art/damien_hirst_virgin_mother.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/new_york_art.htm)

http://www.wirednewyork.com/art/virgin_mother_lever_house.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/new_york_art.htm)

May 9th, 2005, 10:39 PM
One more suggestion - a pair of beautiful bronze sculptures by Fernando Botero inside Time Warner Center.

May 10th, 2005, 06:40 PM
Damien Hirst? Is that the guy who exhibited animals in formaldehyde at the Brooklyn Museum? Bring in the clinical pathologist!

May 10th, 2005, 10:48 PM
Thank you for the information, Edward. I will be viewing the Virgin that weekend! Powerful! And I'll visit Columbus Circle. It's been quite a long time since I've been in that neighborhood!

May 23rd, 2005, 08:53 AM
On my way from the Virgin Mother to Botero, I stopped to watch the children interact with the elephants. All I could think of, was Groucho Marx saying "How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know!" The Plaza provided a pleasant contrast.

May 24th, 2005, 02:23 PM
We walked the southern fringe of Central Park. The twin towers of Time Warner were impressive at a distance. Once in front of the buildings, I was overwhelmed with the variety of angles in the design. Whole Foods was a great place to rest and take sustenance.

August 29th, 2005, 12:59 AM
Julian Opie, City?, 2004

Aluminum, paint, vinyl
Animals, Buildings, Cars, and People
October 28, 2004 - October 15, 2004
City Hall Park

http://www.wirednewyork.com/art/julian_opie_city.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/new_york_art.htm)

August 30th, 2005, 09:30 PM
Ive had my picture taken in that one before! lol

October 17th, 2005, 10:25 PM
David Shapiro. Left for Dead, 2005
Abandoned bicycles, steel posts, aluminum signs, vinyl letters.

Art in Socrates Sculpture Park (http://www.wirednewyork.com/parks/socrates_sculpture_park/).

http://www.wirednewyork.com/parks/socrates_sculpture_park/socrates_shapiro.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/parks/socrates_sculpture_park/)

October 17th, 2005, 11:43 PM
Julian Opie :





My vision :


Site : http://www.julianopie.com/



November 13th, 2005, 10:38 AM
Robert Therrien: Table and Six Chairs
painted metal
September 28 - November 28, 2005

At 590 Madison Avenue


Robert Therrien: Table and Six Chairs is a single, monumental sculpture by Los Angeles-based artist Robert Therrien. No Title , 2003 (Table and Six Chairs) is a colossal table-and-chair set that stands almost ten-feet-high, so tall that viewers can easily walk beneath it. Therrien uses quotidian objects because he knows his viewers will be as familiar with their form and function as he is. This allows him to tap into the broad cultural resonance and narrative ambiguity of everyday forms. The experience of walking underneath the table and chairs, for example, can be at once intimate and uncanny, prompting childhood nostalgia or just physical disorientation. No Title , 2003 (Table and Six Chairs) is made after the actual wooden table-and-chair set that Therrien has at home in his own kitchen. Although it is made of painted metal, the sculpture looks like it is wood.
For Therrien, No Title , 2003 (Table and Chairs) marks a new way of exhibiting his works; the table and chairs have always been shown in gallery spaces that required the viewer to walk under the work to see it. In the expansive atrium of 590 Madison, the viewer can get an all-over look at the table and chairs from far away. This shift is subtle yet important to Therrien, for whom the act of art-making is fundamentally about looking at something from a different perspective, and enticing viewers to do the same.
Artist Bio
Therrien was born in Chicago in 1947; he now lives and works in Los Angeles. Highlights of his many solo exhibitions include self-titled exhibitions at the Gagosian Gallery, New York (2001); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2000); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1991); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984).
Special thanks to Edward J. Minskoff Equities.
590 Madison Avenue is located between 56th and 57th Streets. The atrium is open to the public from 8am - 10pm daily.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/art/chairs_robert_therrien.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/art/ibm_atrium.htm)

January 29th, 2006, 09:08 PM
Cybele, the Goddess of Fertility, the sculpture by Mihail Chemiakin, in front of Mimi Ferzt Gallery in Soho, on Prince Street.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/art/chemiakin_cybele.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/new_york_art.htm)

April 3rd, 2006, 12:35 PM
The amazing energy and culture of this amazing city are unmatched anywhere.

June 4th, 2006, 04:49 PM
Trinity Roots, sculpture in bronze, by Steve Tobin, at Trinity Church, Broadway & Rector St.

http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/8409/trinityroots02n6ii.th.jpg (http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=trinityroots02n6ii.jpg) http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/7915/trinityroots018oa.th.jpg (http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=trinityroots018oa.jpg)

June 5th, 2006, 12:04 PM
On my way from the Virgin Mother to Botero, I stopped to watch the children interact with the elephants. All I could think of, was Groucho Marx saying "How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know!" The Plaza provided a pleasant contrast.

Is that rainbow elephant-poop? :confused:

June 30th, 2006, 12:44 PM
....but unfortunately it is just a portion of the complete spectrum!

June 30th, 2006, 06:56 PM
This is such an amazing thread, and there's so much more out there just itching to be photographed and posted here! I'd do that myself if I were in New York, but if the weather's nice this would make a great weekend project for one of our star photographers. MidtownGuy?

August 20th, 2006, 05:16 PM
A Site Specific Summer (http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/story.php?artid=2267)
Public art infiltrates New York City in some unexpected ways.

August 23rd, 2006, 08:28 PM
Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition


Garden of Delights

Aug 12 - Oct 13, 2006

Brooklyn Bridge Park/Empire-Fulton Ferry State PArk

http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/1584/bbp03ly5.th.jpg (http://img182.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bbp03ly5.jpg)
Travel With the Kitchen Sink
Tyrome Tripoli

http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/9217/bbp04rf5.th.jpg (http://img182.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bbp04rf5.jpg)
Kevin Barrett

http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/4480/bbp05ti2.th.jpg (http://img83.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bbp05ti2.jpg)
Fat Lady
Jack Howard-Potter

http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/1236/bbp06fw4.th.jpg (http://img244.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bbp06fw4.jpg)
Royal Heron
Doug Makemson

http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/5357/bbp07cx4.th.jpg (http://img244.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bbp07cx4.jpg)

August 24th, 2006, 08:08 AM
^ Fleetingly interesting mid-level sculpture. Doubt any of those pieces would ever be shown at MOMA.

August 24th, 2006, 08:53 AM
It's tough enough for artists to live in New York with a dream of getting to MOMA.

The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC: pronounced B-wak) has been helping emerging Brooklyn artists advance their careers by presenting their work to metropolitan art lovers and BWAC neighbors in free exhibits for over 25 years.

With over 500 members, BWAC has grown to become NYC’s (perhaps the world’s) largest artist-run, fine arts presenting/service organization. It is a 501.c.3 charitable corporation. Artist/members comprise the Board of Directors, the management, and the staff. Members contribute an average of over 60 hours of work annually. Only four part-time paid employees provide the day-to-day continuity.

August 24th, 2006, 09:35 AM
^ A fine organization, and I wasn't being critical of them. (Didn't these folks also present the Yale/Red Hook show?).

That sculpture installation you posted is a terrific credit to its surroundings, and if I were in New York right now I'd be making plans to visit the park this very weekend. Anyway, there's no such thing as unworthy public sculpture if its installation isn't permanent.

The point i was making is: how lofty the heights you must scale before you're in the uppermost reaches of art. At that level, you're finally greeted by immortality. Maybe some of the folks in Brooklyn will eventually get there.

August 24th, 2006, 09:48 AM
That's true about MOMA.

But I think a serious problem for New York is that it is quicky losing its status as an art incubator.

I had plans to go to the Yale/Red Hook exhibit, but it fell off the radar and I missed it.

August 24th, 2006, 01:05 PM
a serious problem for New York is that it is quicky losing its status as an art incubator.
What's causing this problem? High rent?

Artists thrive in the company of other artists. Are they getting dispersed like unabombers or are they all moving to a few new meccas?

August 24th, 2006, 03:12 PM
I think it is mostly high rent.

August 25th, 2006, 08:12 AM
If anyone in New York deserves rent subsidies, it's artists. They contribute so much to the economy.

Wouldn't it be nice if one of Ratner's affordable towers in Brooklyn grew to a size that accommodated artists' studios?

NIMBYs would try to keep it down.

September 2nd, 2006, 11:31 PM
"Balloon Flower (Red)" by Jeff Koons in a new park in front of 7 WTC (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/../wtc/7wtc/).


September 11th, 2006, 12:55 AM
St. Johns Rotary Arc, 1975/80
Holland Tunnel Exit - Tribeca
by Richard Serrahttp://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/AWI/AW1567-Serra~St-Johns-Rotary-Arc-1975-80-Posters.jpg

Outdoor Exhibition Closes

A rigging crew using a crane to remove one of the six 21-ton steel panels that constituted Richard Serra's ''St. John's Rotary Arc'' around the traffic circle at the Manhattan side of the Holland Tunnel.

The 12-foot-high panels of the 200-foot-long sculpture, which had its run at the circle extended a year, were then loaded onto trucks to be taken to a Brooklyn storage yard.

(NYT/William E. Sauro)

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

March 31st, 2007, 06:51 PM
Red Cube at 140 Broadway.

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/6915/redcube01ea6.th.jpg (http://img69.imageshack.us/my.php?image=redcube01ea6.jpg)

April 8th, 2007, 04:08 PM
2001 by Liz Larner

Central Park Scholars' Gate

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6411/200101ym6.th.jpg (http://img19.imageshack.us/my.php?image=200101ym6.jpg)

April 8th, 2007, 06:20 PM
^ A glum crew.

April 16th, 2007, 09:28 PM
A photograph depicting a Statue of Christopher Columbus: and Edward.


April 17th, 2007, 08:44 AM
How did Ed get up that high? :confused:

January 13th, 2008, 06:10 PM
Sculptor Carole Feuerman at work. Chelsea. 12 Jan 2008.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2213/2190937204_181b934730_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudentas/)

January 13th, 2008, 07:22 PM
Great ^ http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif

For a few minutes I thought Feuerman was the brunette with the turquoise glove :cool:

January 13th, 2008, 07:32 PM
No, that's Julie Christie.

March 8th, 2008, 08:58 PM
Stuck in Traffic? A Sculpture Park May Ease the Pain

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/03/08/nyregion/08sculpture_600.jpg Gabriele Stabile for The New York Times
The block on the north side of Canal Street near the Holland Tunnel in Manhattan where a sculpture park is planned.

By DAVID W. DUNLAP (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/david_w_dunlap/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: March 8, 2008

The words “sculpture park” bring the rolling expanses of Orange County to mind (Storm King Art Center) or, at least, the river’s edge in Queens (Socrates Sculpture Park). They do not instantly conjure up the traffic-jammed corner of Varick and Canal Streets.

Yet that is where New York’s newest sculpture park will be established: on a recently cleared block owned by the Episcopal Trinity Church, paralleling Juan Pablo Duarte Square on the Avenue of the Americas.

“When they’re idling in traffic trying to get through the Holland Tunnel, they’ll have something to look at,” said Maggie Boepple, the president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which will curate the sculpture park on behalf of Trinity Real Estate, managers of the church’s extensive holdings downtown.
“It’s a tremendous gift to the city,” Ms. Boepple said.

Because Trinity has no current redevelopment plans for the 37,000-square-foot, trapezium-shaped site, it may remain a sculpture park until 2010 or 2011. “This is a temporary arrangement, but we expect it will be temporary for a couple of years,” said Carl Weisbrod, the president of Trinity Real Estate and a member of the cultural council board.

“We’re working hard to make the district as appealing and attractive as we can for tenants; for ourselves, frankly; and for the neighborhood, the community,” he added.

Trinity’s claim to the land dates to 1705, when the parish was granted a large riverfront farm by Queen Anne — “which, since I’m British, I really like,” Ms. Boepple said.

Adam G. Kleinman, a curator at the council, is working on the first show, which may open in two months. Ms. Boepple said a choice was imminent on the final selection of artists, whose works will probably be on display for a year or less. Though the parcel is not large, it is highly visible, sitting at a crossroads of Lower Manhattan.

“It’s going to be a very good sculpture space, but the pieces do have to be somewhat monumental,” Ms. Boepple said.

Trinity will be responsible for maintenance. Mr. Weisbrod said the park would be fenced so that it could be closed at night to safeguard the artwork. He said he did not anticipate controversy ensnaring the parish. “The content of these sculptures will be in keeping with the site and the neighborhood,” he said, “both in terms of scale and appeal.”

This being New York, the sculpture park may develop its own impassioned constituency, people who will hate to see it close when Trinity finally sends in construction crews.

“We want to make it very clear to the community that this is a temporary gift,” Ms. Boepple said. “That’s all it is. And I hope that’s respected so we can continue to do this elsewhere.”

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company.

March 12th, 2008, 11:28 PM
Public Art in Rockefeller Center - Electric Fountain by Tim Noble and Sue Webster

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2339/2330509966_45a2bcfac0_o.jpg (http://flickr.com/photos/sudentas/)

March 13th, 2008, 04:37 AM
Another great shot from Edward.

March 13th, 2008, 07:10 AM
Hope to be there in Mid-April. I'd appreciate any Updates. Is Carole's work on public display in Manhattan?

April 20th, 2008, 05:49 AM
Blue Sky on Canal Street

We offer four architects a fantasy job: a full block downtown, with no client to worry about.

By S.Jhoanna Robledo (http://nymag.com/nymag/author_robledo)
Published Apr 13, 2008

The site today. Sculptures for the park, which is expected to exist for two or three years, will be chosen by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

The odd-shaped block at Canal and Varick Streets is, in some ways, an architect’s dream. Even the nearby Holland Tunnel entrance, nominally a downside, ensures that whatever goes up there will be visible on all sides. The owner, Trinity Real Estate, cleared the site earlier this year, and says it’ll be used as a sculpture park until plans firm up. (There’s already a small plaza next door, Juan Pablo Duarte Square, with a statue of the Dominican hero.) New York asked four architects to come up with ideas for the plot (which, we will admit, faces our offices). We required only that the result include a residential component and that it more or less meet zoning requirements.

Copyright © 2008, New York Media Holdings LLC. All Rights Reserved

April 20th, 2008, 11:23 AM
Pictures from that article ^ are posted in the 417 Canal Street thread HERE (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=225358&postcount=18)

April 27th, 2008, 05:43 AM
I have always supported outdoor sculpture in urban areas, even though I personally don't like some of it, and more than a few examples can be uninspired (at least from what I can make of it). At the end of the day, there is all the rest, that immeasurably add to the experience of walking amongst skyscrapers, into parks, near public fountains, on museum grounds, etc.

In Chicago, as in many places, there has been a multi-tiered plan of encouraging not only permanent and temporary outdoor sculpture, but also a category I shall term "transitional." Transitional sculpture is particularly intriguing in that it has a more extended stay in designated areas, but may disappear, be replaced with new sculpture, or move into the more desired status of permanent sculpture at the end of this stay, all based on community involvement. Individual artists have been divided on whether this is a "good thing" since it is art by popular reaction, rather than based on the proverbial "art for art's sake". But without taking sides as to whether this is good or bad on that level, I can point out that this is all voluntary, and serves an excellent narrow purpose of providing yet another avenue to expose art outside of the closed network of galleries or strictly driven city or private impositions as such.

Bravo to New York, Chicago, Montréal, Paris, Rome, Athens, and a long list of other cities, large and small, ancient and more recent, that continue to contribute to outdoor sculpture which enlivens our urban environments.

May 4th, 2008, 06:00 AM
Bringing a Smile (Well, a Shine) to a Burdened Statue of Atlas

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/05/04/nyregion/04atlas.span.jpg Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
The Atlas at Rockefeller Center has years’ worth of lacquer and wax, in addition to the weight of the heavens, to bear. The four-story-high statue will undergo a six-week cleaning.

By DAVID W. DUNLAP (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/david_w_dunlap/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: May 4, 2008

Of course, he’s angry. Of course, he’s disheartened. The weight of all the heavens has been on his shoulders for 71 years and, according to the mythological timetable, he has exactly forever to go.

But only a close-up view of Atlas, at the base of the International Building in Rockefeller Center, reveals the powerful paradox of strength and despondency created by Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan, the artists behind the four-story-high, seven-ton bronze.

That is because the statue, though structurally sound, has been caked over the decades with so much lacquer and wax that its surface has darkened and deadened. And so, therefore, has its character.

“Everyone reads the substance of things through the surface,” said Jeffrey Greene, president of EverGreene Painting Studios, which is about to begin a six-week cleaning of Atlas, down to the original patina. Mr. Greene believes it is the most ambitious conservation effort for the statue since it was installed in 1937, although it was regularly washed and waxed at least through the late 1980s.

Tishman Speyer, one of the owners of Rockefeller Center, would not disclose the cost of the latest cleaning.

A snapshot staple of any visitor’s souvenir New York album shows Atlas and the 21-foot-diameter armillary sphere on his shoulders (representing the heavens with which he was burdened by Zeus as a member of the losing Titan team), silhouetted in front of the twin spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral across Fifth Avenue. From that vantage, he appears none the worse for wear.

But examined as closely as the scaffolding that now surrounds it will permit, the statue’s surface is flat and dull. Details like the zodiac signs in the armillary sphere are flaking scabrously. Yet, it also becomes clear how much could be revealed with a cleaning.

“There is all this detail in the sculpture that was brought out by the patina,” Mr. Greene said. “It would have accentuated the chiaroscuro and shown the artists’ tool marks. It had a kind of luminosity.” And its muscle contours were in higher relief than they now appear to be. In terms that would make an art critic cringe, this guy’s six-pack abs are made of 18-ounce cans.

On Monday, Mr. Greene said, a translucent scrim will be wrapped around the scaffolding. After that, the statue will get a low-pressure steam bath.

Any residue will be cleaned with a gel solvent. A clear acrylic protective coating will be applied and the statue will be hand-waxed to a sheen that is more polished at sculptural highlights and flatter in the interstices.
One block south, Atlas’s popular brother, Prometheus (by Paul Manship), was restored nine years ago.

“What we try to do is keep track of the condition of the artwork and what needs tending to,” said Jerry I. Speyer (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/jerry_i_speyer/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the chairman and chief executive of Tishman Speyer. “It’s a fascinating piece of what nobody sees but what you really have to do if you’re going to be a fiduciary for a place like that,” he said. And if you don’t take care of it, it’s going to show the effects.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

The Benniest
May 4th, 2008, 04:18 PM
Public Art in Rockefeller Center - Electric Fountain by Tim Noble and Sue Webster

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2339/2330509966_45a2bcfac0_o.jpg (http://flickr.com/photos/sudentas/)
Absolutely wonderful shot. What talent you have. :cool: :rolleyes:

June 8th, 2008, 04:06 AM
An Artist’s Vision: Building With Toys, but on a Grand Scale

By RANDY KENNEDY (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/randy_kennedy/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: June 8, 2008

In the early 1970s, the artist Chris Burden pioneered a kind of sculpture that explored boundaries few people would care even to approach. The basic material was his body, and the work involved what he or others could do with it or to it.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/08/nyregion/08rock.detail.190.jpg Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
A worker assembling the tower, which will be officially unveiled on Wednesday.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/08/nyregion/08rock.pop.jpgFred R. Conrad/The New York Times
A protective cage around an Erector Set skyscraper at Rockefeller Plaza was removed Saturday.

The most infamous pieces, “Shoot” and “Trans-fixed,” were accurately titled. In one, a friend shot Mr. Burden in the left arm with a .22-caliber long rifle; in the other, he had his hands nailed to the roof of a Volkswagen bug.

Sitting at a sunny lunch table near Rockefeller Center recently, Mr. Burden, now 62 and seemingly no worse for the wear, reached into a briefcase and pulled out a piece of raw material for a new work that seemed almost as pliant as a human body. It was part of a thin Erector Set truss, actually a stainless steel replica of one from the original version, which was patented by an architecture-loving toymaker named A. C. Gilbert in 1912.

“Look how flimsy it is,” said Mr. Burden, flexing the piece easily between his hands. “It really is just a toy.”

But not far from him, partly shrouded on the trailer of a red Peterbilt truck, sat a sculpture made of hundreds of thousands of such pieces, painstakingly screwed together into a sturdy, almost crystalline creation. In essence, he had transformed a toy inspired by Manhattan buildings into a toy building approaching the size of some real buildings in Manhattan.

The work, called “What My Dad Gave Me” — a 65-foot Erector Set skyscraper, assembled over the last year by Mr. Burden and a team of assistants near Los Angeles — was hoisted into place early Saturday. It will officially open Wednesday as part of Rockefeller Center’s program of monumental outdoor exhibitions presented by the Public Art Fund (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/public_art_fund/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and Tishman Speyer, which controls the center.

In work he has made over the last 25 years, Mr. Burden has been fascinated with feats of engineering as the means by which people try to defy their physical environment, ignoring obstacles like gravity and distance, weight and water. He has built several elaborate, scaled-down bridges using Erector Set and Meccano toy construction parts, including a 28-foot version of the steel-arch Hell Gate Bridge over the East River. (In an article last year, Peter Schjeldahl, an art critic for The New Yorker, described him admiringly as “a boyish gimcracker diverting us by diverting himself.”)

But Mr. Burden said his obsession with such models sprang from some serious thinking over many years about the nature of toys. “They’re the tools we use to inculcate children into how to be adults, how to live in the world,” he said. “But because they’re for children, there is this potential in them that’s never realized.”

He gestured back toward the toy skyscraper, which lay on its side on the truck bed in Rockefeller Plaza as two assistants, Joel Searles and Tim Rogenberg, used screwdrivers to attach its spire. “I mean, children could have made that, theoretically, but they would never have enough time or parts,” he said.

As early as 1991, Mr. Burden had begun thinking about making a tower-size toy (one drawing from that year shows something he called “Small Skyscraper, Quasi Legal, LA County” that was never realized). So when Rochelle Steiner, the director of the Public Art Fund, approached him in 2006 in a general way about whether he was interested in making a project for Rockefeller Center — where his father, an engineer, had once worked — his answer was not general at all.

“He said, ‘Absolutely, and I know exactly what I want to do,’ ” she recalled.

Though he has developed a fairly keen intuitive sense about the amount of weight that Erector Set pieces can bear, Mr. Burden said he had not settled on a height for the toy tower until he visited Rockefeller Center and reminded himself of its scale. “And I said, ‘Holy cow, this can’t be a 25-footer,’ ” he said. “It has to be really big.”

He said he felt confident that he could have built to well over 100 feet, or more than 10 stories. But he decided to stop at 65 feet when engineers became involved and wind and stress tests were conducted to ensure that 16,000 pounds of nickel-finished stainless steel would not rain down on Fifth Avenue or a clutch of French tourists. (Asked whether a 100-plus-foot tower would have been safe, Mr. Burden said, smiling: “I think it would have been. But failure is very interesting, too.”)

The tower was built in sections at Mr. Burden’s studio in Topanga Canyon, and then pieces of it — including the largest one, the base, which had to be lifted out by helicopter — were taken to Los Angeles to be assembled.

Ms. Steiner, who saw the piece upright during tests before its cross-country truck journey, said she loved it particularly because of the ways it pits the mind and the eye against each other.

“The fact that it is both a model and the height of a real building is bizarre,” she said. “It is simultaneously right and wrong from a traditional building perspective. And so it starts to play tricks on you.”

Mr. Burden, who describes the tower as a poetic interpretation of Rockefeller Center, said he also saw it as saying something about the ambitions of America, which he has always viewed in a slightly idealized way after growing up mostly in France and Italy. “I see it as optimistic and positive, though it feels corny to say those things,” he said.

The Erector Set and the skyscrapers that inspired it are emblems of the kind of confidence the country had at the turn of the 20th century, he said. “I think we could get it back,” he added. “I don’t think it’s impossible.”

In person, Mr. Burden — a barrel-chested man still built like the wrestler he was in high school — is personable and funny, making it slightly difficult to imagine him performing the confrontational and at times horrific pieces of his youth.

He said he saw his engineering pieces as part of the same tradition. “These are structures that are performing themselves in their forms,” he said. But by 1975 he had turned away from body-based performance, in part because of the kind of attention it was attracting.

“It became very misunderstood,” he said. “I wasn’t doing it to be some kind of stuntman.” (He said he bore no physical infirmities from those years; one of his worst injuries came only a few years ago when he wrestled a coyote to the ground after it latched onto his dog. The coyote then latched onto his left hand and almost tore off part of a finger.)

As Mr. Burden finished lunch and headed back to his tower, he said he was relieved that the piece made it across the country unscathed. “It required intense concentration to put together — it’s really easy to make a mistake, and when you do, you have to take apart what you’ve done and start over,” he said. “It might look like child’s play, but it’s anything but.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 8th, 2008, 10:12 AM
Artist Chris Burden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Burden) (b. 1946; Boston, MA) has had quite an evolution (http://www.artnet.com/artist/3329/chris-burden.html) ...


At Rockefeller Center
Presented by Public Art Fund (http://publicartfund.org/pafweb/projects/08/burden/burden-08.html)
Hosted by Tishman Speyer
June 11 – July 19, 2008


"I have always wanted to build a model skyscraper using Erector parts.
The model skyscraper, built from a toy and 65 feet in height, takes
on the dimensions of a full sized building. The circle of actual buildings
inspiring a toy in 1909, which is then used to build a model skyscraper
the size of an actual building in 2008, is a beautiful metamorphosis."

—Chris Burden
This summer, internationally renowned artist Chris Burden will exhibit a new sculpture at Rockefeller Center in New York — WHAT MY DAD GAVE ME, a dramatic, 65-foot-tall skyscraper made entirely of toy construction parts. Standing more than six stories tall at the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens, WHAT MY DAD GAVE ME will pay homage to the historic skyscrapers that populate New York and give the city its iconic architectural presence. WHAT MY DAD GAVE ME will be on view, free and open to the public, from June through July 2008. The exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund and hosted by Tishman Speyer, co-owners of Rockefeller Center.

WHAT MY DAD GAVE ME will be by far the most complex artwork that Chris Burden has ever made, comprised of approximately one million stainless steel parts that are replicas of Erector set pieces, the popular 20th-century children's building toy. Over the past decade, the artist has been using these specially stamped stainless steel metal parts based precisely upon those of the original Erector set to create complex and elegant sculptures of bridges. Intricately engineered to support and bear enormous weight, Burden's colossal toy constructions showcase the versatility, simplicity, and strength of their unassuming parts, combining technical sophistication with a child-like enthusiasm: building for building's sake.

In 1912, an inventor named A.C. Gilbert created the first Erector set, inspired by the steel framework of skyscrapers that he saw under construction in New York City, then at the height of a building boom. The Erector Mysto Type I — the first set Gilbert made — was a collection of small metal girders, which could be assembled with miniature nuts and bolts. Burden's fascination with this original — and now rare — building kit led him to create his own replica parts, fashioned in stainless steel and electro-plated to produce a polished nickel finish in order to make them weather — and rust — resistant.

Despite being constructed with toys, WHAT MY DAD GAVE ME will take on the dimensions of a full-scale building. Burden anticipates that its construction will require approximately one million parts total, and that the sculpture will weigh over seven tons when complete. Models and collectibles have long been important in Burden's work, reflecting his fascination with humankind's industrial ingenuity and creativity, investigating relationships between power and technology, nature and society, and enlightenment and destruction.

About the Artist

Chris Burden was born in 1946 in Boston, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He attended Pomona College, Claremont, California (BA, 1969) and University of California, Irvine (MA, 1971). In addition to his sculptures and installations, Burden is well-known for his live endurance works of the early 1970s, including Shoot (1971), the legendary performance in which he had a friend shoot him in the arm, and Five Day Locker Piece (1971), where he spent five days and nights in a school locker. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Burden moved away from body works to create a series of monumental kinetic sculptures involving engines and hydraulics, reflecting a fascination with engineering, invention, and technology that continues to influence his work today. Recently, Burden permanently installed 202 vintage streetlights outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in a piece titled, Urban Light (2008) to inaugurate its new Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM).

Burden has held recent solo exhibitions at South London Gallery (2006); Gagosian Gallery, New York and Beverly Hills (2007 and 2004); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England (2002); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (2002); Gagosian Gallery, London (2002); Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2000); and Tate Gallery, London (1999).


Organized by Public Art Fund and Hosted by Tishman Speyer (http://www.tishmanspeyer.com/). Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer would like to thank Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills.


Chris Burden's WHAT MY DAD GAVE ME will be exhibited at Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, at the end of Rockefeller Center's Channel Gardens.

Other Public Art Fund projects at Rockefeller Center: Anish Kapoor (http://publicartfund.org/pafweb/projects/06/kapoor/kapoor-06.html) and Jonathan Borofsky (http://publicartfund.org/pafweb/projects/04/borofsky_04.html).


Chris Burden

12ozprophet.com (http://www.12ozprophet.com/index.php/kr/entry/chris_burden/)

Chris Burden is an artist living and working in LA, California. He pioneered (championed?) performance art during the 70’s in LA. He took things to extremes using his body as the art object.

He had himself shot for one unforgettable piece, called “shoot”. Pictured here.

He crawled chest first through broken glass on TV for a 20 second commercial spot he bought. He shot a pistol at a 747 in flight.

All this and more, way before “Jackass”. Not that Jackass is on the art tip, but their extremist approach and use/abuse of their bodies as an object to make comedy is similar to Burden’s approach to making art.

Really dope shit if you take time to look at his work.






He’s also created a lot of really interesting and influential sculpture. Maybe I’ll post some later.

Check him out on the all knowing internet or check out his recently released book, appropriately named “Chris Burden (http://www.amazon.ca/Chris-Burden/dp/1899377182)” ...





http://www.zwirnerandwirth.com/graphics/smlogo.gif (http://www.zwirnerandwirth.com/main.html)

... Here, as in many of the early performances, Burden takes back the power over his own body by willfully assigning it to someone else.

The viewer also becomes a witness, as in Dead Man in 1972, where Burden covered himself with a tarp lying in the road flanked by two flares. The flares would eventually burn out increasing the risk of the artist being run over by a car. In Trans-Fixed, 1974, the two nails that were used to crucify the artist to a Volkswagen car are preserved as a relic. The Volkswagen was chosen because it was the car of the “people” and Burden wanted his crucifixion to liberate not just himself but everyone. In experiencing this type of pain and vulnerability firsthand, Burden is able to make it more familiar and, in turn, he demystifies the horror of such acts by making them knowable, both for himself and for the audience. As a result, the collective fears that society uses to keep people in order are exposed and the idea that the human body is governed by law is rendered impotent.

Burden said that his work is the “acting out of an idea, the materialization of the idea”. The performances demonstrate this in their unencumbered actions that vehemently avoid any move towards symbolism.


TITLE: Beehive Bunker (http://www.artnet.com/artwork/424638028/105146/chris-burden-beehive-bunker.html) http://www.artnet.com/images/blank.gif

ARTIST: Chris Burdenhttp://www.artnet.com/images/blank.gif

WORK DATE: 2006 http://www.artnet.com/images/blank.gif


CATEGORY: Installations http://www.artnet.com/images/blank.gif
MATERIALS: Sacks of concrete http://www.artnet.com/images/blank.gif
SIZE: Height: 285 cm
Diameter: 305 cm http://www.artnet.com/images/blank.gif
REGION: American http://www.artnet.com/images/blank.gif
STYLE: Contemporary (ca. 1945-present) http://www.artnet.com/images/blank.gif
PRICE*: Contact Gallery for Price

Chris Burden with Beehive Bunker, 2006, at his home in Topanga Canyon.



Structural Integrity

Chris Burden has gone from the bad boy who got shot for his art
to an enlightened engineer with nothing left to prove.

Men's Vogue (http://www.mensvogue.com/arts/feature/articles/2008/06/burden)
By Eric Banks
June 2008

Related: Video of Burden's Shoot and other performance art (http://www.mensvogue.com/arts/feature/articles/2008/06/burdenvideo)

Photo: Jonas Karlsson
Chris Burden tends to Metropolis II, a wildly kinetic sculpture involving 1,200 Hot Wheels
at his studio in Topanga, CA.

Chris Burden is leading me up the muddy path to the summit behind his studio. I'd spied an odd-looking sculpture at the top of the hill and asked him what the hell it was. It looked to be nothing less than a medieval Genoese watchtower. As we huff and puff, I begin to feel guilty for dragging him along to get a closer look, and fear that at any moment he and his roly-poly frame will begin a slick and dangerous descent.

The piece turns out to be an actual bunker, made of layered bags of cement left out in the rain. Burden gives me a boost to scale its slippery surface — it's been pouring for days in not-so-sunny California — so I can have a look at the manhole cover he incorporated as its roof. When lowered, it offers absolute protection from marauders or, for that matter, from the coyotes you can hear off in the hills ...

Burden never had children, but with What My Dad Gave Me, the installation that debuts this month in front of Manhattan's Rockefeller Center, his serious pursuit of kid stuff comes full circle. A 65-foot-tall "skyscraper" (it's really more the structural skeleton of one), the work is a demonstration of engineering might. It's built entirely out of Erector Set parts — specifically, the Mysto Erector Number 1, the inaugural one put out by inventor A. C. Gilbert in 1913 — and, once you count the nuts and bolts, contains a million components. Burden created replica parts from the originals and assembled the sculpture in three sections in his studio. So hulking are the resulting segments they had to be airlifted by helicopter out of the canyon in a West Coast version of the Jesus-flying-over-Rome scene in Fellini's La Dolce Vita, to be put together elsewhere in Los Angeles.

"To get it here, we'll have to close down Fifth Avenue," says Rochelle Steiner, director of New York's Public Art Fund, which is presenting the work. "One of the things I love and respect about Chris is that he's really hands-on — the sheer putting-together of a work of almost a million pieces. But it's also the hands-on mental thinking that goes into it. It's not like, 'I have an idea, can you figure out how to make it stand up?'"

Burden shows off the diamond-shaped patterns on one of his Erector Set pieces and points out their resemblance to those on the Turkish rugs draping the railing around the second floor of his hangar-like studio. "People were doing engineering long before it had a name," he says. "I mean, 'How do you build a castle?' 'Ask my grandfather, he knows how to build a castle.' How did a lot of this shit get built?" For him, the engineering impulse that lies behind What My Dad Gave Me is as sharp as steel Erector edges: His father was an engineer who worked at Rockefeller Center during the late fifties. Returning to the scene of his father's work with a boy's toy skyscraper must feel Oedipal, or Prodigal, or something ...


Chris Burden

Stacy Bolton Communications (http://www.stacybolton.com/projects/chrisburden_imgs.htm)

Current Projects

Chris Burden


At Rockefeller Center
Presented by Public Art Fund
and Hosted by Tishman Speyer

June – July, 2008

Chris Burden, What My Dad Gave Me (artist rendering), 2008,
electro-polished stainless steel, 11'6” x 11'6” x 65',
© Chris Burden, 2008,
Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery / Public Art Fund.

(L) Portrait of Chris Burden, © Lisa Eisner,
Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery;
(R) Chris Burden, 65 Foot High Skyscraper, Front view, 2008,
17 x 11 inches, ink on paper, Courtesy of the artist.


Chris Burden, What My Dad Gave Me (Construction images),
© Joel Searle, Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.


June 8th, 2008, 10:38 AM
This Chris Burden piece is outrageously crazy and just plain fantastic ...

Vid: THE FLYING STEAMROLLER (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9K69zHLIeY)

Chris Burden's Steam Roller outside Tate Britain

Uploaded on October 13, 2006 by Catfunt (http://www.flickr.com/photos/catfunt/)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/catfunt/268420512/sizes/m/in/photostream/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/catfunt/268420512/sizes/m/in/photostream/)

It drives around and then (seemingly) its momentum lifts it off the ground
and it completes several rotations before coming back to earth. Once it's
in the air the driver turns the engine off and there's a nice bit when it
seems extraordinarily quiet and this big heavy bright yellow steam roller is
spinning in the air.


Chris Burden : The Flying Steamroller (http://www.southlondongallery.org/docs/exh/exhibition.jsp?id=132)
2|10|2006 - 15|10|2006http://www.southlondongallery.org/img/home/1pix.gif

In conjunction with the solo exhibition 14 Magnolia Double Lamps on display at the Gallery (15 September – 5 November), the South London Gallery is delighted to present one of Chris Burden’s greatest works, The Flying Steamroller. An off-site project combining sculpture and performance, this magical work will be on display for fourteen days at the Parade Ground in front of Chelsea College of Art & Design, opposite Tate Britain.

The Flying Steamroller, 1996, is a huge sculpture which consists of a twelve ton steamroller that is attached to a pivoting arm with a counterbalance weight. The steamroller is driven in an enormous circle until its maximum speed is reached. At the same time, a hydraulic piston is activated and pushes up the beam from which the steamroller is suspended, causing the steamroller to lift off the ground. Because of the combined weight of the steamroller and the counterbalance, which is approximately 48 tons, the steamroller, once lifted off the ground, continues to spin, or “fly” for several minutes. As the steamroller nears the end of its circular motion, or when the spinning momentum is exhausted, the hydraulic piston is slowly retracted and the steamroller gently lands.

Burden is well-known for incorporating danger into his performances; while The Flying Steamroller is perhaps one of his more whimsical pieces, it still engages with ideas of power and risk. Staged outside the gallery for the first time, and together with the exhibition 14 Magnolia Double Lamps, The Flying Steamroller prompts consideration of how public space is managed and transformed over time to reflect changes in society. Most strikingly, the work highlights the ability of science and technology to confound expectations.

This exhibition is supported by Bloomberg, with additional thanks to Gagosian Gallery, and Vicky Hughes and John. A. Smith.


Chris Burden at South London Gallery

http://www.flickr.com/photos/escdotdot/266175540/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/escdotdot/266175540/)

Uploaded on October 10, 2006 by escdotdot (http://www.flickr.com/photos/escdotdot/)

June 28th, 2008, 06:06 AM
With Elbow Grease and an Artist’s Eye, a Sculpture in Harlem Regains Its Luster

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/28/nyregion/29sculpture.600.jpg Librado Romero/The New York Times
Parks Department workers and volunteers restore “Harlem Hybrid,” a bronze installed in 1976.

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/timothy_williams/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: June 28, 2008

When the artist Richard Hunt conceived Harlem Hybrid, a welded bronze sculpture on a traffic island at West 125th Street, he intended for it to blend in with its surroundings: the triangular plaza it sat on, the church across the street, the street itself.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/28/nyregion/29sculpture.span.jpgLibrado Romero/The New York Times
Richard Hunt standing in front of his sculpture “Harlem Hybrid."

What he did not expect was for the abstract piece, which was installed in 1976, to become so much a part of the environment that during the 1980s, homeless men took to sleeping under it, flames from barrel fires scarred it, and urine oxidized it before its time.

Despite its prominent place in Roosevelt Triangle — where 125th Street, Morningside Avenue and Hancock Place intersect — the 5,500-pound sculpture was nearly invisible to passers-by, hidden by graffiti and overgrown shrubbery. In a neighborhood that had more pressing problems, the sculpture was allowed to slowly corrode.

But on Friday, Mr. Hunt, 72, one of the foremost African-American sculptors of his time, watched as Parks Department employees and volunteer graduate students finished wiping away years of accumulated graffiti, remnants of old posters and stickers, and 15 layers of black paint in an effort to return the work to its original bronze luster.

For an hour or so, Mr. Hunt, gray-haired and soft-spoken, could not help but beam with pride. He watched the conservationists and graduate students scrub, buff and polish the sheets of bronze he had welded together to mimic the angle of the roofline of the nearby church and its arches.

At one point, he excused himself to get a camera from his bag so he could take photos.

Mr. Hunt said he had chosen the location and designed the sculpture to be interactive — an object that children could climb upon and where people could sit. The human contact would be mutually beneficial: oils from the skin and the rubbing against clothing would eventually give the bronze a weathered patina.

That the sculpture became something more — and less — than Mr. Hunt’s ideal, was something he said he did not mind.

“You don’t anticipate all the forms of interaction,” he said dryly. “Once an artist puts a piece out as a public sculpture, it’s on its own — kind of like when your child gets out of college. A lot of people believe art should be respected. But this is not a sculpture of a saint.”

Harlem Hybrid is one of dozens of public sculptures that Mr. Hunt, a Chicago native, has created across the country. He has also been the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and his work has been included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/metropolitan_museum_of_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org) collection.

Mr. Hunt pointed out that during the Renaissance, when artists sought to achieve the sort of pretty green patina that is part of the natural corrosion process — and that Harlem Hybrid had accumulated toward its bottom sections — they would treat their bronze with urine to accelerate the chemical interaction.

But if there was one thing that did bother him about the treatment of Harlem Hybrid, it was in the late 1980s, when the Parks Department began to layer shiny black acrylic paint on it to conceal graffiti.

“That was a low point,” Mr. Hunt said. “It’s one thing to have various patinas applied. ...”

The restoration of Harlem Hybrid is part of the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program, which uses its annual budget of about $200,000 — most of it from private sources, like the History Channel and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation — to refurbish the city’s more than 1,000 monuments, including 300 major statues.

Since 1997, the year the program was founded, about 50 sculptures have been restored, said Jonathan Kuhn, director of the Park Department’s Arts and Antiquities program, which oversees the conservation work.

Christine Djuric, the Park Department’s monuments conservator, said Harlem Hybrid was chosen for restoration because it was in such poor repair.

“There are very few monuments or sculptures in this kind of condition,” she said.

After an application of ammonium sulfide to give the sculpture a chemical patina, and a coat of wax to help make the job of scrubbing away future graffiti a bit easier, the restoration work will be finished during the next several days. The entire process will have taken about three weeks.

On Friday, people finally stopped to ask about a sculpture that they had walked past for years.

Hassan Bey, 40, who has lived in the neighborhood for much of his life, looked at it closely for the first time.

“It’s presentable,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, though. On one side it looks like an elephant. Over there, it looks like a box. What is it?”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 28th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Additional pics & info on Richard Hunt's "Harlem Hybrid" at urbanart (http://urbanartcommission.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html) blogspot.

June 29th, 2009, 04:47 PM
June 29, 2009, 3:21 pm

City Hall Art Project Sets Off a Rolling of the Eyes

By David W. Chen (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/david-w-chen/)

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

The whimsical transformation of a security booth outside City Hall has drawn less-than-amused responses from those who use and protect the building.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he thought the project was “cute,” and could “inspire and delight New Yorkers and visitors.”

But try telling that to the security guards, city officials and others who arrived at City Hall on Monday, only to notice two security booths newly covered by a printed graphic of cartoon-like red bricks.

One city councilwoman said it reminded her of Ronald McDonald. Someone else said it looked as if it belonged in a playground, not at the entryway to city government. And with near unanimity, the guards who have to actually be in the booths were, shall we say, not amused.

“It looks like the North Pole,” said one police officer who — like most people interviewed — begged for anonymity so as not to get in trouble with any of their, um, higher-ranking, art-loving patrons. “If they did it around Christmas, O.K. But now it looks like Candy Land or Wonderland.”

“I’m just waiting for them to paint the bricks yellow,” another officer said.

“It’s ridiculous,” still another officer said. “One guy from the Art Commission came up to me and said, ‘What did we do to you?’”

“It makes us look more visible,” yet another officer said. “Like that’s what I want — more visibility.”

The Pop Art-like project, called “Wall and Door and Roof,” (http://publicartfund.org/pafweb/projects/09/woods/woods-09.html) is the work of the British artist Richard Woods (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/26/arts/design/26vogel.html) and is being installed by the Public Art Fund (http://publicartfund.org/), which described the project this way:
Cladding the property’s two security booths with a printed facade of cartoon-like red bricks, Woods draws on his native vernacular which identifies this design as an inexpensive structural style. The visually dynamic work dramatically juxtaposes the historic architecture of City Hall, with ordinary building materials. Woods’s faux renovation continues inside City Hall on one of the doors within the lobby. Covering the door in a printed graphic that is a replication of itself, the artist creates an optical illusion. Woods includes all of the ornamental details of the original to produce a heightened and flattened sense of reality.
The work will be on view starting on Thursday, through September.


Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 29th, 2009, 05:12 PM
It looks like one of the Three Little Pigs' houses.

June 30th, 2009, 08:56 AM
Actually, it looks like a ticket booth at an amusement park.

If they are there to see the circus, maybe they got it right after all.....

June 30th, 2009, 10:32 AM
It looks like one of the Three Little Pigs' houses.
So, what do you think would happen if two guys showed up, dressed in costumes that looked like a straw house and a wooden house?

Maybe carrying piggy banks.

July 24th, 2009, 05:46 AM
July 24, 2009

Well-Behaved Street-Corner Sculpture


"The Ego and the Id," by Franz West, on East 60th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman by Augustus Saint-Gaudens

One of the seven bronze and stainless-steel sculptures by James Surls, Park Avenue between 57th and 51st Streets

Lever House Lobby sculpture by Tara Donovan

Hello Kitty figure by Tom Sachs


Outdoor art isn’t what it used to be. Once it honored heroic individuals and upheld values that whole populations could embrace. Today, excepting memorials like the Vietnam veterans wall, outdoor art serves rather to divert, amuse and comfort.

A striking illustration of that old-new dichotomy straddles East 60th Street and the southeastern corner of Central Park. On the north side, temporarily installed in Doris C. Freedman Plaza by the Public Art Fund (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/public_art_fund/index.html?inline=nyt-org), is “The Ego and the Id,” a big, brightly colored sculpture by the Austrian artist Franz West.

Its two parts, made of roughly welded-together pieces of aluminum, form lumpy, spindly loops rising 20 feet in the air. One is painted glossy bubblegum pink, while the other sports a coat of yellow, green, blue and orange patches. In places near the ground, the loops morph into round stools on which people can sit. Judging by the reactions of passers-by and their clambering children, this infectiously cheerful work is a popular attraction.

Meanwhile, on the south side of the street, on an elevated, neo-Classical stone pedestal, is a bigger-than-life gilded-bronze sculpture of the Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman. Riding on horseback, he follows a female figure in billowing robes, an allegory of Victory. The monument has been here since 1903. On a recent sunny day there were lots of people on the plaza in front of the sculpture, but most were watching a group of athletic young men performing gymnastic dance feats to loud hip-hop music. It seemed a safe bet that no one there knew or cared who the man on the horse was or who made the sculpture that honors him.

The creator of the Sherman monument, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), was the pre-eminent American sculptor of the 19th and early 20th centuries. His career is the subject of an indoor show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/metropolitan_museum_of_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org). Including miniature cameo portraits, exquisitely sensitive relief portraits of upper-class women and children in marble and bronze and a monumental marble figure of Hiawatha, the exhibition of almost four dozen works from the museum’s collection displays a kind of traditional skill and idealism that practically no one possesses anymore.

The big problem for outdoor art is the absence of any consensus of values in our pluralistic, multicultural society. It’s hard to imagine a public sculpture of a hero today that would not be regarded by one faction or another as partisan. As an unscientific sampling of art in the public realm this summer confirms, contemporary outdoor art tends to offer unobjectionable, mildly decorative or entertaining and relatively empty experiences.

A few blocks south of the Sherman monument, placed by the New York City Parks Public Art Program on the Park Avenue median strip between 57th and 51st Streets, are seven bronze and stainless-steel sculptures by James Surls of giant, semi-abstract, fantasy flowers. Mr. Surls, who is based in Carbondale, Colo., is known for funky wooden indoor sculptures resembling the works of an eccentric backwoods visionary.

With petals inscribed with eyes and other petals in the form of crystals, the Park Avenue works hint at psychedelic experience. But that aspect is neutralized by the colorless metal and a stylistic decorum that turns them into innocuous garden sculptures.

In the same neighborhood is a more eye-grabbing sculpture by Tara Donovan, the artist known for spectacular accumulations of ordinary objects like plastic straws and disposable cups. Presented in the window of the Lever House Lobby, where it may be viewed from indoors as well as out, Ms. Donovan’s untitled piece consists of 2,500 pounds of plastic sheeting loosely folded into a wide box that is glassed in on the front and back and built into a freestanding white wall.

At first you notice the serpentine pattern formed by the edges of the plastic material. Then a remarkable optical effect kicks in. Light pouring through from either side reflects on the shiny surfaces of the plastic folds, producing a shimmering, kaleidoscopic effect. The transformation is magical and more hallucinogenic than anything suggested by Mr. Surls’s works.

(By the way, some art lovers will be relieved to discover that Damien Hirst (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/damien_hirst/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s colossal bronze sculpture of a partly dissected pregnant woman has been removed from the outdoor Lever House plaza. It has been replaced by a giant, white Hello Kitty figure by Tom Sachs. A painted bronze that looks as if it were patched together from pieces of foam core, it is not a great improvement, but it is at least not nearly as hideous.)

One kind of public sculpture practiced by people who want to change the world is the “intervention,” in which the artist subtly alters some existing structure to subvert perceived social complacency. At City Hall Park, under the auspices of the Public Art Fund, the British sculptor Richard Woods has intervened by cladding two octagonal guard booths in panels imprinted with red-on-white brick patterns, giving them the look of cheap amusement-park pavilions. Also, in an indoor lobby, he has covered an elaborately molded door with a flat, printed copy of the door.

The effect of Mr. Woods’s interventions, collectively titled “wall and door and roof,” is feeble. Had he covered the entire City Hall in the garish brick pattern it would have been something to see; but as it is, it seems unlikely that many people will realize they’re looking at art, much less attach any meaning to it.

Then there is the latest installment of the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/ps_1_contemporary_art_center/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s Young Architects Program, which every summer for the last 10 years has had a team of designers create some sort of shelter for the center’s sun-baked front courtyard. Like previous projects this one, by a New Haven and Cambridge, Mass., firm, MOS, is a hybrid of sculpture and architecture — call it sculpitecture. (MOS’s principal partners are Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample.)

Titled “afterparty,” it consists of towering conical structures covered by woolly, dark brown Indonesian palm thatching and truncated at the top like volcanoes. The chimneylike cones are supposed to create breezy updrafts, while small valves at the top spray cooling mist on overheated visitors. The whole thing resembles the roofing of a South Pacific king’s palatial hut.

A treat for young, old, hip and square, it nicely exemplifies the inoffensive spirit of public art today. What Saint-Gaudens would make of MOS’s techno-primitive folly is anyone’s guess.


July 24th, 2009, 10:38 PM
(By the way, some art lovers will be relieved to discover that Damien Hirst (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/damien_hirst/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s colossal bronze sculpture of a partly dissected pregnant woman has been removed from the outdoor Lever House plaza. It has been replaced by a giant, white Hello Kitty figure by Tom Sachs. A painted bronze that looks as if it were patched together from pieces of foam core, it is not a great improvement, but it is at least not nearly as hideous.)

Give me a break. The Hirst sculpture was fantastic, a gigantic plus to the neighborhood. The Hello Kitty looks clumsy and stupid there. It would probably look dumb anywhere. Every time I walk by, I wish someone would smash it like a giant piñata.

July 24th, 2009, 10:55 PM
If you didn't like the Hirst sculpture but like the Hello kitty instead, your not an art lover, but a schlock lover ;):rolleyes:

November 6th, 2009, 05:22 AM
Streetscapes | Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Stanford White

Gilded-Age Monuments and Secrets


The Farragut Monument was the first collaboration between the architect Stanford White and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. More Photos > (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/11/05/realestate/1108-scapes_index.html)

THE Metropolitan Museum of Art (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/metropolitan_museum_of_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s exhibition of the sculpture of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, rich with the work of one of the key figures in the American Renaissance, ends next Sunday. A running theme in the show — indeed, in Saint-Gaudens’s entire life — is his enduring friendship with the architect Stanford White (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/stanford_white/index.html?inline=nyt-per). As it happens, they were interested in delights not only artistic, but earthly.

Saint-Gaudens was born in Dublin in 1848 to a shoemaker and did not get beyond elementary school. At 13, he was apprenticed to a cameo maker; there was then a large demand for small portrait relief busts, often no bigger than a cigarette case.

He went to study in Paris at only 19, and won a trickle of commissions in the early 1870s, including a relief of a bulldog armed with revolvers guarding a safe for an Adams Express Company building in Chicago. In 1875, “a devouring love for ice cream” brought him together with the young architects Charles McKim and Stanford White, “a couple of redheads who have been thoroughly mixed up in my life ever since,” according to his autobiography, “The Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens” (Century, 1913).

The next year, the young sculptor secured the commission that made him: the Farragut Monument in Madison Square Park. Unveiled in 1881, this subtle, fluid work could be considered the most important work of statuary in New York, a revelation of naturalistic modeling at a time that public sculpture was stiff and formal. Farragut stands in a vigorous pose, his long coat flung back by the wind.

The granite base, designed with Stanford White, is in the form of a curved, high-backed bench, with streaming, sea-current-like forms running across the central pier, engulfing two dolphins at the corners. Compared with other work of the time, it is as if an art nouveau column capital appeared on a high Renaissance facade.

In 1885, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle noted that a project for a soldiers’ and sailors’ monument in Brooklyn had been seriously delayed by a prolonged and unsuccessful attempt to engage the now-famous Saint-Gaudens.

The sculptor quickly became fast friends with McKim and White, who would design many of the settings for his sculptures. He made a satirical medal to commemorate a trip they made to southern France in 1878. At top, a wild-eyed White stares out from underneath a startling shock of hair, on the right McKim’s near-baldness is lampooned with an exaggerated high forehead and at left Saint-Gaudens portrayed his naturally pointy face made even pointier by drawing out his goatee.

Saint-Gaudens won another important early commission in 1884, for a memorial to Col. Robert G. Shaw, killed with many of his African-American troops in the Union assault on Fort Wagner in 1863. It is a memorable landmark on the edge of Boston Common, particularly distinctive for its inclusion of the black soldiers who served with Colonel Shaw.

In 1892, Saint-Gaudens received the commission for the Sherman monument at the Plaza, which was dedicated in 1903, four years before his death. Indeed, even allowing for the burdens of modeling and casting, he worried his works — and clients — over many years, in part because of his trans-Atlantic existence, split between New York and Paris. His Shaw memorial was not unveiled until 1897, and his haunting, hooded memorial to Marian Adams in Washington was finished six years after her suicide.

Saint-Gaudens was particularly close to Stanford White, and in 1884 gave White and his new wife, the former Bessie Smith, a marble relief portrait of Mrs. White as a wedding present. But at the same time it is known that the sculptor and architect enjoyed a life of enthusiastic unchastity.

Paul R. Baker is emeritus professor of history at New York University, and his book “Stanny: The Gilded Life of Stanford White” (Free Press, 1989) delicately summarizes their activities in rooms rented by their secret “Sewer Club.” Sometimes Saint-Gaudens signed his letters to White with epigrams like “Kiss me where I can’t” or a phallic symbol. Such ribaldry may have been traditional masculine ribbing, although Professor Baker notes a continuing thread of homoerotic overtones.

White, of course, carried on legendary heterosexual affairs which were often considered predatory. And Saint-Gaudens, already married, is known to have fathered a child with one of his models. But, except for the eruption of public condemnation after White’s murder in 1906 by the husband of one of his conquests, Evelyn Nesbit, they both were able to keep their personal lives separate from their artistic endeavors, and it is a challenge to weigh the elegant sculpture in the Metropolitan show against the private life of one of the great artists of the 19th century.


November 20th, 2009, 05:10 AM
Civic Virtue

Triumphant over unrighteousness at City Hall, 1925

Rough Boy moves out, 1941

Frederick Macmonnies was a sculptor of great renown, and both the Parks Commission and the Municipal Art Commission had been pleased in 1915 to approve the design for the life's masterwork that would someday stand sentinel in City Hall Park alongside his famous Nathan Hale.

Now, seven years later, here was completed his 22-ton marble allegory: "Civic Virtue Triumphant Over Unright-eousness" – a near-naked youth, sword in hand, two mermaids at his feet, one crushed, the other cowering. Here was the conqueror of Temptation. Here was the vanquisher of the Loreleis. Here, in short, was a guy who stomped on girls. Shocked were the cities' ladies.

Complaints rained down on Mayor John Hylan: Demeaning and degrading! Virtue is male? Unright-eousness is female?

"Men have their feet on women's necks and the sooner women realize it the better!" cried the National Women's Party. Hylan immediately sensed political difficulties. Women had the vote now, after all. You couldn't just tell them to sit down and be quiet any more.

Accordingly, for weeks there raged the Battle of the Sexes in one volcanic public hearing after another as city fathers pondered the appropriateness of installing in a public place Frederick MacMonnies' vision of goodness victorious, which by now the whole town had nicknamed Rough Boy.

Hylan made a large point of siding with the irked critics – "I don't claim to know much about art," he said, "but I know I don't like the looks of this chap" – but in the end the Board of Estimate voted yea, given that the statue had cost $60,000 anyway, and on April 20, 1922, workers hoisted Civic Virtue into place outside City Hall. Where he remained for nearly 20 years, an eternal municipal emblem, sort of, until he got moved to Queens.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/11/18/2009-11-18_big_town_big_picture_civic_virtue.html#ixzz0XOQ HLfCL

November 20th, 2009, 08:02 AM
... on April 20, 1922, workers hoisted Civic Virtue into place outside City Hall. Where he remained for nearly 20 years, an eternal municipal emblem, sort of, until he got moved to Queens.

Is that lad still in Queens?

November 20th, 2009, 08:43 AM
Here he is in 2000:


And later:





'Triumph of Civic Virtue' statue deteriorating in Kew Gardens

BY Asya Farr

(http://www.nydailynews.com/authors/Asya%20Farr)July 7th 2008

Civic leaders and activists are reviving an effort to preserve a marble sculpture that has been both praised for its beauty and condemned for what some say is its troubling imagery.

Mary Ann Carey, district manager of Community Board 9, has been leading the charge to get funding to repair the "Triumph of Civic Virtue" in Kew Gardens near Queens Borough Hall.

So far, her pleas - including testimony at a city budget hearing this spring - have had no effect.

"It's a sin to see this marble work of art deteriorating," Carey said of the statue by renowned 19th century American sculptor Frederick MacMonnies.

"If this was in Italy, they would have it in a museum. Eventually, it's just going to fall into a pile of salt," she said.

Carey originally launched the campaign in 2006 after noticing cracks in the statue's pedestal and erosion of its marble. She and other supporters - including the Fine Arts Federation and the city Parks Department - sent letters to the mayor and the City Council.

The sculpture sits on land owned by the Parks Department, but Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said the agency does not have adequate funds to fix it.

"Triumph of Civic Virtue" has been controversial since its unveiling in 1922, which sparked a protest by feminists. Its symbolic tale of virtue overcoming vice is represented by a muscular nude male, triumphantly trampling two female sirens.

In 1941, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia - reportedly tired of being mooned by the nude figure - had the sculpture moved from City Hall Park to its current site at the corner of Union Turnpike and Queens Blvd.

Preservationists asked Queens Borough President Helen Marshall to ante up funds for the statue's restoration, which will cost an estimated $2 million. But Marshall does not consider it a top priority, said her chief of staff, Alexandra Rosa.

Rosa noted that spending money to repair "Triumph of Civic Virtue" would reduce funding that could be used to fix streets and schools and for other essential services.

The statue's misogynistic imagery is also troubling, she said.

"The fact that a strong man is standing tall on women below him ... just sends the wrong message to both men and women," Rosa said.

Tomas Rossant, president of the Fine Arts Federation, said he agrees with some of the criticism, but he also said the statue is an important landmark.

"It is a piece of the city's history," he said. "It should not be allowed to evaporate and disappear."

Richard Iritano, who grew up in Kew Gardens and ran for City Council in 2003, said the statue wouldn't be getting the cold shoulder if it were in Manhattan.

"It adds beauty to the neighborhood," he said.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2008/07/07/2008-07-07_triumph_of_civic_virtue_statue_deteriora.html#i xzz0XPF3kjC4

December 29th, 2009, 09:08 PM
The Tom Otterness sculpture is marvelous :), as are his other magical sculptures around the city.

The Real World - Tom Otterness (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15974&highlight=Otterness)

In the Loftiest of Buildings, High Art Still Finds a Home


A 29-foot-long playground sculpture by Tom Otterness in a new park
adjacent to two apartment developments on West 42nd Street

More Photos > (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/12/30/realestate/1230ART_index.html)

The practice of adorning New York real estate with major sculptures and other artwork stretches back at least as far as the 1930s. And even during today’s tough economic times, the tradition is holding up. A number of major works of art have been installed in Midtown Manhattan in the last few months.

In October, for example, the Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation hung a 5,000-pound rotating sculpture from the ceiling of the atrium of 805 Third Avenue. On the other side of Manhattan, Silverstein Properties has bought a 29-foot-long playground sculpture by Tom Otterness for a new park adjacent to two of its apartment developments on West 42nd Street.

At Lever House, the landmark International Style skyscraper by Gordon Bunshaft on Park Avenue, Aby Rosen, a principal of the building’s owner, RFR Holding, has offered a quarterly show of art in the lobby and courtyard since 2003. And Park Tower Group recently agreed with Christie’s to regularly display sculptures, which would later be auctioned, in the lobby and outdoor plaza of 535 Madison Avenue, a 37-story office building.

According to Mary Ann Tighe, chief executive of the New York region of CB Richard Ellis and a former deputy chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefellers were among the first New York real estate developers to use outdoor sculpture to beautify their buildings, installing works by Paul Manship at Rockefeller Center and by Jean Dubuffet at One Chase Manhattan Plaza.

Such art “has always been the mark of a Class A developer and property,” she said. “The Rockefellers set the pace in the 20th century.”

For a noteworthy Class A office building, art can “provide the right image,” said Lisa Austin, a Miami-based corporate art consultant. “If you’ve got a really beautiful piece of architecture, the art can be the final exclamation point.”

Joel Straus, a corporate art consultant in Chicago, said that sculpture can also add a “human element.” He added, “Often in New York, buildings are overscale; sculpture can bring the scale down.”

Studies done by the Urban Land Institute, a real estate research group, show that “amenities count, and these can include public art,” said Maureen McAvey, executive vice president for the institute’s initiatives group. “This is true for both residential and office buildings.”

“There’s always the caveat that the art has to be well done and well thought through,” she added.

Cohen Brothers spent $330,000 to acquire and install a 5,000-pound sculpture, made by Christian Eckhart from aluminum, steel and mirror stainless steel, that hangs above the three-story retail atrium at 805 Third Avenue as part of a $14 million renovation of the atrium and adjacent office lobby. There was no art in the atrium before.

The bronze Otterness playground sculpture — a giant figure that is 30 feet wide, 29 feet long and 19 feet high, with slides going down one arm and both legs, and 25 six-inch figures crawling over its body — sits in a new quarter-acre park behind One River Place and Silver Towers, two apartment buildings that occupy the south side of West 42nd Street between 11th and 12th Avenues.

One River Place opened in 2006. The first stage of Silver Towers opened last June, and it is to be finished next spring. The park, which initially opened in 2000, was closed in 2006, when construction began on Silver Towers; it will reopen in the spring.

Larry A. Silverstein, chief executive of Silverstein Properties, said the price for the Otterness sculpture was seven figures, but he would not be more precise. Another person with knowledge of the purchase valued it at $1.2 million.

Michelle Isenberg, a corporate art consultant in Hollywood, said in an e-mail message that the Otterness work “reinforces a brand. A building with a Tom Otterness playground piece is an intelligent, whimsical experience, which goes beyond the usual plastic, metal and wood equipment that might be presented as part of a family-friendly development.”

Mr. Otterness said that the sculpture also “marks the building. There will not be another building in New York with that in its footprint.”

Installed in early December, the newest exhibit in the Lever House art collection was created by Richard Woods, who wrapped columns at the base of the building with plywood and covered them with strips of vinyl decorated with various textile patterns; the work was bought for $300,000.

Mr. Rosen said he began the Lever House art collection to gain recognition for the building, on the west side of Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. “Park Avenue is usually very corporate and boring,” he said. “We wanted to create an interesting environment for people to come and visit.”

Mr. Rosen owns the Lever House art collection with Alberto Mugrabi, an art dealer. Although Mr. Rosen said he had no commercial motive in starting the art collection, he stands to gain financially if works in the collection appreciate.

Perhaps the most unusual art display, from a business perspective, involves the arrangement recently struck by Park Tower Group and Christie’s. The developer is exhibiting sculptures at 535 Madison Avenue, an Edward Larrabee Barnes building at the northeast corner of 54th Street.

The artwork, which Christie’s will later auction, will change regularly and be on display in the building’s newly renovated 2,250-square-foot lobby and its 4,870-square-foot plaza. No money is changing hands between Christie’s and Park Tower Group.

The sculpture “is a great amenity for the building and for the public, with the plaza,” said Alfred D. Bradshaw, executive vice president of Park Tower Group. He said the collaboration gives Christie’s “a different venue for displaying art.”

According to Marc Porter, president of Christie’s Americas, the Park Tower Group arrangement is Christie’s first with a real estate developer. He said the auction house hoped to adopt the concept in other cities.

In the first exhibit, which ran for six weeks in the fall, Christie’s lent Park Tower Group four sculptures by François-Xavier Lalanne and Claude Lalanne, including a bronze elk that was displayed in the plaza. The sculptures were auctioned this month in Christie’s 20th-century decorative art and design sale.

All of the sculptures that had been displayed were sold at prices above Christie’s estimates. The elk, for example, had been estimated to sell for $100,000 to $150,000, and actually went for $266,500.

Mr. Porter said Christie’s arrangement with Park Tower Group let “experienced buyers who had already been collectors see the art in a distinguished urban setting. It galvanized their interest in the objects.”

One possible risk of the arrangement, Ms. Austin said, is potential “damage to works of art owned by other people.” Mr. Porter said Christie’s would insure whatever art is displayed.

Some art and real estate professionals said they were not surprised by developers’ continued interest in buying art, even during a recession. “If the developers have money and are interested in art, they are going to spend it,” Mr. Straus said. “These guys do it because they have a passion for it.”

Art is “depressed in price like every other asset class,” said Frank Liantonio, executive vice president of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield. “Smart developers are taking advantage of the market for art, and combining it with their real estate holdings to give their buildings a slight edge,” he said.

But, he went on, “one might say, in this economy, who cares about sculpture or art? Just give me the cheapest rent out there.”


January 7th, 2010, 09:46 PM
Question posted at Curbed (http://curbed.com/index.php?page=2): This Chinatown brick installation was built by robots?


Yes (http://www.storefrontnews.org/exhib_dete.php?exID=152). The article says the installation is on display until early January, so maybe it's not there anymore?



January 19th, 2010, 11:28 PM
Pike Loop Installation Extended

January 19, 2010

Fans of the Pike Loop installation (http://www.boweryboogie.com/2009/11/pike-loop-exhibit-is-complete.html) on Pike Steeet can rest easy today. Contrary to information on the website for the Storefront for Art & Architecture (http://www.storefrontnews.org/exhib_dete.php?exID=152), the exhibit will not end this month. In fact, positive feedback from the community was allegedly overwhelming, and the Department of Transportation decided to extend its residency until the end of 2010. We emailed the Storefront for more information, and they confirmed the news.

http://www.boweryboogie.com/media/uploads/2010/01/pike-loop-400x300.jpg (http://www.boweryboogie.com/2010/01/pike-loop-installation-extended.html/pike-loop/)

Pike Loop was constructed over a two-month period with help from a robotic arm named R-O-B. In all, over seven thousand bricks were used, forming a self-intersecting design which resembles an infinite loop.

http://www.boweryboogie.com/2010/01/pike-loop-installation-extended.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+BoweryBoogieALowerEastSideC hronicle+%2528Bowery+Boogie+%7C+A+Lower+East+Side+ Chronicle%2529

May 19th, 2010, 09:25 PM
Antony Gormley’s Sculptures New York
They sure give you a sense of how big these buildings are.

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

emptyseas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyseas/sets/72157623930839830/)

May 24th, 2010, 06:10 AM
I'm ejoying this installaton.

June 4th, 2010, 05:35 AM
Bringing color to City Hall


Last Friday workers were installing new sculptures in City Hall Park and on Broadway outside the park entrance. The pieces included sculptures by artist A. Curry.


June 4th, 2010, 06:45 AM


June 9th, 2010, 01:15 AM
Statuesque (http://www.publicartfund.org/statuesque/) from the Public Art Fund at City Hall Park

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/6618/statuesque01.th.jpg (http://img692.imageshack.us/i/statuesque01.jpg/) http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/3236/statuesque02.th.jpg (http://img697.imageshack.us/i/statuesque02.jpg/) http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/5972/statuesque03.th.jpg (http://img686.imageshack.us/i/statuesque03.jpg/) http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/4613/statuesque04.th.jpg (http://img341.imageshack.us/i/statuesque04.jpg/) http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/7729/statuesque05.th.jpg (http://img697.imageshack.us/i/statuesque05.jpg/) http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/2135/statuesque06.th.jpg (http://img686.imageshack.us/i/statuesque06.jpg/)

June 9th, 2010, 01:25 AM
Good or bad, even temporary, it's nice to see this public art in NY (something a city of this size is sorely lacking in)!

October 28th, 2010, 06:24 AM
Williamsburg: Where Shopping Carts Go to Die

October 27, 2010, by Joey Arak


And the gold star for weirdest public art thing of the day goes to the person (or specter (http://specterart.com/), according to an in-the-know Curbed tipster who is cooler than us) responsible for this scene at Metropolitan and Meeker in Williamsburg spotted by Scouting NY (http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=2987). Cement shoes for a Home Depot shopping cart? Well, it's Williamsburg, so it's not like a supermarket cart was available. Click through to see what the cart's holding. (Hint: refuse!)

Shopping Cart Gets Cement Shoes In Williamsburg Park (http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=2987) [Scouting NY]


January 25th, 2011, 06:24 AM
Pushing Petals Up and Down Park Ave.


Left, Will Ryman with one of his flowers, made from fiberglass and stainless steel.
Right, a digital rendering of one of the works from Will Ryman’s “Roses,” the piece
will sit at 59th Street and Park. The project will be unveiled on Jan. 25th.

[Via Flickr/twi_ny (http://www.flickr.com/photos/twi-ny/5379504474/in/photostream/)]

[Via Flickr/twi-ny (http://www.flickr.com/photos/twi-ny/5378905721/)]

[Via Flickr/t_a_i_s (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tais/5382539925/)]

THE first sign of spring this year in New York may be the work of Will Ryman, whose site-specific art installation, “The Roses,” will be unveiled on Jan. 25. It will cover 10 blocks of Park Avenue with an unseasonable crop of giant pink and red rose blossoms.

Those with apartments overlooking the Park Avenue Mall between 57th and 67th Streets may feel as if they’re hallucinating when they wake up to Mr. Ryman’s clusters of nearly 40 buds ranging from 5 to 10 feet in diameter, with the longest stems among them sprouting 25 feet above the street.

“I love that somebody looking out their window could be experiencing an object one way, while someone standing on the sidewalk could be looking at the same object and having a totally different experience,” Mr. Ryman, 41, said during a recent visit to his loft on the Bowery. “If you look at the stems, they’re sort of dancing.”

A fanciful riff on a Park Avenue tradition of displaying seasonal flowers and ornamental trees, “The Roses,” which will remain on display through May 31 and take a weekend to install, appears undeniably whimsical. It even includes 20 oversize petals to be scattered along the ground, 6 of which have been comfort tested to double as lawn chairs.

Still, anyone tempted to dismiss “The Roses” as fluff may need to look closer. Between the 1-to-2-foot beetles, bees, ladybugs and aphids peeking out of these particular flowers, and the thorns the size of dinosaurs’ teeth protruding from the blossoms’ curving stems, Mr. Ryman aims to stir a sense of foreboding that will contrast with the project’s more obvious feel-good symbolism.
His works have already generated a double-edged impression. In a review in The New York Times in 2004 Ken Johnson wrote that Mr. Ryman’s work “has a genuinely cathartic feeling about it, as though he has indeed finally allowed long-neglected feelings to come out from the shadier corners of his psyche.”

The opening sequence of the David Lynch film “Blue Velvet” is an inspiration for Mr. Ryman’s new installation. “At first, there’s this house with a white picket fence, this perfect world,” Mr. Ryman said of the film. “But then the camera pans from a cheerful bed of roses to a churning, bug-filled underworld that is primal, menacing and, I think, ultimately the truth.”

In their exaggerated scale “The Roses,” which are fiberglass and stainless steel, evokes the Pop sculptures of Claes Oldenburg. Their surfaces, which are individually painted, tend to be bumpy and irregular and underscore Mr. Ryman’s reaction against the slicker works of artists like Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami. (“For me, unless the hand is present, humanity is absent from the piece,” he said.) But in their cartoonish display of human expectation and failure, they also owe a powerful debt to Mr. Ryman’s lingering fascination with absurdist theater.

A Manhattan native, Mr. Ryman was born into a family of artists. (His father is the Minimalist painter Robert Ryman, and his mother, Merrill Wagner, paints abstractions on three-dimensional objects.) In a youthful attempt to buck what he jokingly referred to as “a business or a curse, depending on how you see it,” after graduating from high school he immersed himself in plays by Beckett, Sartre and Ionesco and began jotting down bits of dialogue, in the hope of establishing himself as a playwright.

While he worked a series of odd jobs, as a script reader, a prep chef and later a line cook, he “really wanted to make some noise as a playwright,” he said. “I thought that was my destiny.”

After struggling “very profoundly for years,” however, he said that by the age of 32 he had to accept that “my plays weren’t really commercial, as much as I wanted them to be.”
His realization led to a shift in materials. Instead of scribbling scenes in his journals — towering stacks of which cluttered his desk at his loft, bearing witness to the magnitude of his efforts — he resolved to make sculptures of his characters, the better to envision them more fully.

In a cramped studio apartment, measuring roughly 600 square feet, he said, “I basically took apart my bookshelves and my coat tree and got some papier-mâché and built a hundred or so figures about four feet tall.”

“I wanted to invent a new kind of theater,” he added, “in which actors were removed, and props somehow told the story.” In 2002 he moved into his current loft with the goal of turning it into a theater. After constructing nine scenarios with what he called his “crazy, disturbed figures,” he invited people he knew from the theater and film world to see his bizarre, nonnarrative production.

As luck would have it, one of Mr. Ryman’s friends happened to bring the art dealer Tanja Grunert, who surprised him by proposing that he feature his dejected-looking characters in a solo show at her gallery in Chelsea.

Like a wry comment on his father’s pared-down paintings, which gravitate heavily toward white, Mr. Ryman’s “Pit,” exhibited at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert in the summer of 2004, presented a white space the size of a room with an exterior staircase leading up to a platform. From there viewers were invited to peer into a gloomy hollow, painted entirely black, from which a hundred or so childlike figures in tennis shoes gazed up plaintively.

“The Pit” was included in “Greater New York,” a prominent roundup of emerging artists hosted by P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in 2005. Klaus Biesenbach, the center’s director and one of the show’s curators, described Mr. Ryman’s piece as “very dramatic,” adding that it attracted intense interest among curators and critics.

In “Wall Street,” a subsequent installation from 2008 at 7 World Trade Center, Mr. Ryman presented some 15 characters ranging from three-inch-tall businessmen to figures like a homeless man sifting through trash and a hot dog vendor that rose nearly to 15 feet in height.

Mr. Ryman’s dramatic scale shifts persist. And while roses present a departure from his previous works in their replacement of the human figure, Mr. Ryman said he’ll rely upon Park Avenue residents and passers-by “to complete my piece.”

After all, as Adrian Benepe, New York’s parks and recreation commissioner, who organized “The Roses” with the sculpture committee of the Fund for Park Avenue, said, “A giant rose gets you thinking about public spaces in the city and your relationship to them.” (Paul Kasmin Gallery also supported the project.)

“Plus,” he added, “it’s a touch of color in the winter.”


http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/01/24/hey_park_avenue_how_does_your_rose_garden_grow.php #more

January 25th, 2011, 10:56 AM
A mega rose of a different sort has been planted on the New Museum on the Bowery (http://flavorwire.com/130517/new-museums-new-look-hell-yes-vs-rose-ii).

This one, dubbed Rose II (http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/433), isn't by Ryman but by Isa Genzken (http://www.davidzwirner.com/artists/55/).


January 25th, 2011, 08:47 PM
I like those. They brighten things up during the after-holiday dreariness.

January 25th, 2011, 11:04 PM
More photos of Will Ryman's roses at Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/25/will-rymans-roses-rise-on_n_813549.html#s229346&title=Some_of_Will).


February 25th, 2011, 08:29 PM
I like it and I am a woman, I want it in my garden! -- BlackYowe :)

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras Wants To Sell 'Sexist' Statue On Craigslist

Rep. Anthony Weiner and City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras want to sell the Queens statue, "Triumph of Civic Virtue (http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/02/25/2011-02-25_pols_say_selling_sexist_statue_on_craigslist_wo uld_be_a_civic_virtue.html)" because they say it's sexist. Other community leaders argue that, instead of selling it, the city should pay to refurbish the decaying piece of art.

The statue portrays a nude man stepping on two women.

It was crafted more than 100 years ago and is intended to depict civic virtue (nude man) triumphing over the twin sirens of vice and corruption (stepped-upon women).

Ferreras wants to sell the figure on Craigslist to raise money for the city, which faces steep budget cuts of more than $1 billion.

Mary Ann Carey, district manager of Community Board 9 in Queens, said she doesn't want to see the statue go.

"It's been one of the board's top priorities for years to have that statue restored," Carey said. "We're not looking to destroy art."

What do you think? Art? Sexism? Or does Weiner just not 'get' symbolism?

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/251556/SEXIST-STATUE.jpg http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/25/councilwoman-julissa-ferr_n_828362.html

February 28th, 2011, 08:01 AM
It is both, but Weiner has to stop being such a....weiner and realize that things need to be taken in context.

Otherwise, most of our artwork made before 1980 can be considered sexist in the same ways this is.

As for selling it. I am sure selling this will all but close the $1B or so shortfall NYC/NYS is experiencing.

Why didn't someone ELSE think of that! :crosseyed:

March 2nd, 2011, 12:02 AM
Sheep Flock to Times Square

NY TIMES (http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/sheep-flock-to-times-square/?ref=nyregion)
March 1, 2011

Joining the art carnival that descends on New York City during the annual Armory Show, the huge contemporary art fair that opens on Thursday, Times Square is transforming itself into a “whimsical” sculpture garden.

Pieces by Tom Otterness (a huge bronze mouse, looking as if it has outgrown the subway), Niki de Saint Phalle (a 10-foot ceramic and glass female figure) and Kyu Seok Oh, a Brooklyn artist (a flock of sheep handmade from heavy paper) were unveiled on Tuesday along with two other sculptures by Grimanesa Amorós and David Kennedy Cutler. The works, presented by the Times Square Alliance (http://www.timessquarenyc.org/about_us/art_ts.html), will remain on view through Monday.

Four of the sculptures are at Duffy Square and sites between 46th Street and 47th Street. The sheep, which are presented in partnership with the West Harlem Art Fund, will be grazing motionlessly for the week between 45th Street and 46th Street near the Marriott Marquis Hotel. No need to feed them.

© 2011 The New York Times Company


Sheep to Accompany Herds of Tourists in Times Square

DNA Info (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110224/midtown/sheep-accompany-herds-of-tourists-times-square)

SLIDESHOW (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110224/midtown/sheep-accompany-herds-of-tourists-times-square)

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_02_R8257_Sheep_Coming_to_Times_ Square.jpg
Photo by Martyn Gallina-Jones
Kyu Seok Oh’s "Counting Sheep," which will be unveiled in Times Square on Tuesday, March 1.


Tom Otterness in Times Square (http://www.marlboroughgallery.com/news/tom-otterness-in-times-square)
Mar 01 2011 - Mar 07 2011
Times Square

46th Street and Broadway

March 1 - 7, 2011

Otterness' large sculpture Mouse
to be displayed at 46th Street and Broadway

© 2011 marlborough gallery / all rights reserved.

March 2nd, 2011, 10:34 AM

March 2nd, 2011, 11:10 AM
LOL. And Meeses.

March 3rd, 2011, 06:19 AM
There can never be too many Tom Otterness sculptures :).


March 6th, 2011, 07:45 AM
Way Back Machine | ‘Rough Boy’ Statue May Get More Respect in Brooklyn


Rough Boy: Still rough after all these years. If many another male has been obliged to apprehend at least the basics of sensitive, modern sharing-and-caring guyness over these past several generations, Rough Boy isn’t having it. Here he is yet to this day, all 22 marble tons of him, heroically stationed outside Queens Borough Hall with weapon in hand, quite unmistakably beating up on a couple of women who are cringing at his feet.

And still to this day he remains sourly unloved by assorted indignants who deem him rude at the very least and want him gone. Now Representative Anthony D. Weiner has become the latest (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/rep_weiner_urges_removal_of_sexist_gCZVolczdZRQNlH cJCxBlM) in a long parade of public scolds calling on the city to toss Rough Boy out.

“Ugly and offensive,” declaims the art-critic congressman. “It’s time for him to go.”
For nearly 90 years now this has been going on. Rough Boy has never much enjoyed welcome-wagon hospitality, not since the day he was first unveiled in 1922. But perhaps he has found his home at last, now that the keepers of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn — recognizing that he is, of course, the last masterwork of the American sculptor Frederick MacMonnies — are offering to salvage him (http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/04/2011-03-04_brooklyn_cemetery_wants_neglected_unloved_queen s_statue_stonecold_move_for_eyeso.html) from the pit and the abyss and give him shelter in their bosky glades.

MacMonnies had trouble winning universal admiration for his various artistic visions in the first place. Brooklyn-born, Paris-educated, MacMonnies specialized in grand public monuments: His Nathan Hale statue in City Hall Park and one of the groups at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch in Brooklyn had been judged socially acceptable. On the other hand, Boston had refused his “Dancing Bacchante” on grounds that the bacchante was excessively bacchanal, and Denver had spurned his frontiersman group because the Indian was taller than the white men. Now, in 1922, seven years after the Parks Commission and the Municipal Arts Commission paid him $60,000 to create something epic to put atop a fountain in City Hall Park, here was what MacMonnies had wrought:

The New York Times, March 23, 1922.

“Civic Virtue Triumphant Over Unrighteousness,” it was formally called, though the town wags nicknamed him Rough Boy on the spot. A mighty marble allegory. A near-naked youth, 20 feet in the air, built like an oak and astride two women, one of them already defeated, the other still merely cowering. Here was the Protector. Here was the Conqueror of Temptation, the Vanquisher of the Loreleis, he who would ruggedly resist the songs of the sirens, intended to represent corruption and vice. Here was what civic virtue would look like in the event such a thing ever struck the City of New York.

Allegory, MacMonnies kept patiently explaining. But shocked were the city’s ladies all the same. Never had they been so insulted. Complaints rained down on City Hall: Demeaning and degrading! Virtue is male? Unrighteousness is female? And for weeks there thundered in the city’s prints and town hall meetings nothing less than the Battle of the Sexes, practically warranting a great marble statue itself. Mayor John F. Hylan, an amiable ex-railroadman who did not stand accused even by his friends of being much more than dim, was nonetheless shrewd enough to sniff political difficulties. Well, women had the vote now. You couldn’t just tell them to sit down and be quiet any more. Indeed, bloc-wise, he probably owed them his own recent re-election.

And so there was scheduled a Board of Estimate hearing to discuss the appropriateness of installing in a public park a statue that had been officially approved and paid for years earlier, and on March 22 there appeared before the board great crowds of citizenesses determined to speak their aggrieved minds. Declared Elizabeth King Black of the National Women’s Party: “Men have their feet on women’s necks, and the sooner women realize it the better.” Declared Dr. Ella Boole of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union: “This type of man might have done for a statue in the Middle Ages, but it doesn’t represent any modern man, especially anybody engaged in civic affairs.” Agreed Hylan, to the deafening cheers of his audience: “I don’t claim to know much about art, but I know I don’t like the looks of this chap and I don’t think he’ll look well in City Hall Park.”

“He’s going there just the same,” mildly rebutted the deputy comptroller, Henry Smith, who in 1915 had been one of the art commissioners who had approved Rough Boy.
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Hylan said. “I think I’ve got something to say about it.”

Again the chamber cheered him long and loud, and at this point Hylan was enjoying the acclaim so much that he decided to schedule a second hearing two weeks later to enjoy still more of it.

Which was a tactical mistake, because two weeks later Rough Boy’s supporters had marshaled expert testimony. The president of the National Association of Women Sculptors and Painters pronounced “Civic Virtue Triumphant Over Unrighteousness” a brilliant MacMonnies. A scholar who maintained that the piece was not in harmony with City Hall’s colonial architecture was shot down by another scholar who said City Hall was Italian Renaissance, not colonial, and that in fact Rough Boy was Florentine and thus very harmonious indeed. A lady from the Long Island City Council of Women’s Clubs stood up to say she didn’t understand what all the silly fuss was about anyway.

And in the end, late in April, Rough Boy went up outside City Hall as planned, and there he stayed until the spring of 1941, when Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, who was also no big fan, bounced him over to Queens. There he has continued to stolidly endure one assault after another: The onetime borough president, Claire Shulman, tried to banish him from her sight more than 20 years ago, and now it’s Mr. Weiner’s turn to boldly stand up for the dignity of womankind just in case he happens to be running for something someday. Green-Wood Cemetery’s offer may finally end this long-running ruckus, although the mechanics of Rough Boy’s proposed resettlement remain unclear for the moment. As he does, after all, weigh 22 tons.


March 9th, 2011, 08:37 AM
Bronze Lions May Soon Guard Battery Park City Library

Sculptor Tom Otterness has received an anonymous donation to fund the lions.

By Julie Shapiro

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_03_R4841_LIONS_FOR_BATTERY_PARK _CITY_LIBRARY_03082011.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_03_R5226_LIONS_FOR_BATTERY_PARK _CITY_LIBRARY_03082011.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_03_R3911_LIONS_FOR_BATTERY_PARK _CITY_LIBRARY_03082011.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_03_R1702_LIONS_FOR_BATTERY_PARK _CITY_LIBRARY_03082011.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_03_R3148_LIONS_FOR_BATTERY_PARK _CITY_LIBRARY_03082011.jpg

BATTERY PARK CITY — A pair of bronze lions towering 5 feet tall may soon guard the entrance to the Battery Park City Library (http://www.nypl.org/locations/battery-park-city).

Sculptor Tom Otterness (http://www.tomostudio.com/) has agreed to craft the lions, after a local resident anonymously volunteered to cover the cost.

"We're all really excited," Otterness told DNAinfo Tuesday. "The idea is to do a variation on the New York Public Library lions, which are such a well-known emblem."

Unlike Patience and Fortitude (http://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/library-lions), the reclining marble lions in front of the midtown library, these lions would sit up on their haunches, Otterness said. One will be male and the other female, and they will be surrounded by a bunch of cubs just 6 inches tall. One will be munching on a little bronze book.

Otterness sees the lions as a continuation of "The Real World," (http://www.tomostudio.com/exhibitions_bpc.html) his 1992 installation of playful bronze figurines in Rockefeller Park a few blocks away. Many of those figures are shown carrying pennies, so Otterness plans to show one of the lion cubs with a bag of pennies as well.

"It'll be as if they wandered off the site and up to the library," Otterness said. "It's exciting to get a chance to add another element after all these years."

The lions would likely sit just north of the library's entrance on North End Avenue and could arrive as soon as the spring of 2012, Otterness said.

The idea for the lions came from Tom Goodkind, a Battery Park City resident who first suggested the project as a joke several years ago.

But other residents liked the idea and Goodkind began pursuing it seriously. He called Otterness, who was intrigued, but the project was on hold until recently because of a lack of funding.

"The kids are going to love it," Goodkind said. "It really enhances the neighborhood."

The New York Public Library did not immediately comment on the lions.

Otterness, a Kansas native who studied at the Art Students League in the 1970s, has created many popular public art installations in the city, including "Life Underground" at the 14th Street and Eighth Avenue subway station. He has shown his work all over the world.

Otterness faced harsh criticism more than 30 years ago for shooting his dog as part of an art film. He has since apologized.

The lions require the approval of the city and Community Board 1. CB1's Battery Park City Committee was scheduled to hear a presentation about the project at a meeting April 5, Goodkind said.

The Battery Park City Library opened one year ago this month and is celebrating its anniversary next week.


March 10th, 2011, 09:02 PM
Plaza Hotel Fountain to Be Home for Ai Weiwei Sculpture

NY TIMES ArtsBeat (http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/plaza-hotel-fountain-to-be-home-for-ai-weiwei-sculpture/?ref=arts)
March 10, 2011, 8:00 PM

A place for dancing, maybe, but for art?

The fountain outside the Plaza Hotel at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue will be home to 12 monumental bronze animal heads sculpted by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei starting May 2 through July 15.

“It’s a busy area, so it can be seen by ordinary people, but also it’s not exactly an art center,” said Mr. Weiwei in a telephone interview from China. “ I like that people can notice it and a the same time, not to bother them too much.”

The sculpture, “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” was inspired by the fabled fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan, an 18th-century imperial retreat just outside Beijing. Designed in the 18th century by two European Jesuits at the behest of the Manchu Emperor Qianlong, the fountain-clock featured each animal of the Chinese zodiac, spouting water at two-hour intervals. In 1860, French and British troops ransacked the Yuanming Yuan, pillaging the heads. Seven of them have since been located — the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, horse, monkey and boar — the other five are still missing.

“It’s very interesting to offer this complete set,” Mr. Weiwei said. “People can really appreciate public art on different levels.”

A joint effort of AW Asia, a Chinese contemporary art organization, and New York City, the exhibition in what is formally known as the Pulitzer Fountain is, according to the organizers, the first to be presented there and the first major outdoor exhibition by a contemporary Chinese artist in the city.

“One point of good public art is to make you re-think environments you may have taken for granted in the past,” said Kate D. Levin said. “Pulitzer Fountain is a beautiful place. People tend to pass it by without really engaging with it.”

© 2011 The New York Times Company


Ai Weiwei's Zodiac Heads/Circle of Animals @ the Sao Paulo Biennale

Les cahiers d'Alain Truong (http://alaintruong.canalblog.com/archives/2010/09/29/19193186.html)



Fountain with Chinese Zodiac Animals (http://www.urbanartantiques.com/2009/the-call-at-the-last-minute-christies-auctioning-relics-from-royal-summer-palace/)

(Courtesy to Xinhua Net)

Palace of the Calm of the Sea and the Water Clock,
Garden of Yuan Ming Yuan, Peking, 1783-86

Painting by Giuseppe Castiglione (http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Giuseppe-Castiglione/Palace-Of-The-Calm-Of-The-Sea-And-The-Water-Clock,-Garden-Of-Yuan-Ming-Yuan,-Peking,-1783-86.html)

Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace, Imperial Summer Palace) 圆明园 (http://www.meiguoxing.com/Attractions/The_Old_Summer_Palace.html)


April 2nd, 2011, 02:30 AM
Andy Warhol Statue Unveiled In Union Square

Amy Zimmer

slide show (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/30/andy-warhol-statue-unveil_n_842755.html#s259783&title=The_Andy_Monument)

UNION SQUARE -- It's easy to pass by the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West or the building at 860 Broadway, now housing a Petco, without knowing their historical significance in the world of Pop Art.

There's no sign explaining that Andy Warhol had his "Factory" here, first in the Decker building, in 1968, before moving a block away in the 1970s to Broadway and 17th Street to make his silkscreens, print his magazines and do his screen tests.
Warhol finally has his tribute: The Andy Monument.

The pop art icon, who worked in the Union Square area until 1984 and passed away in 1987, is returning to the area in the guise of a ghostly silver 10-foot-tall sculpture by Rob Pruitt.



April 7th, 2011, 05:50 AM
Very expensive bear.

Giant Yellow Teddy Bear Takes a Seat on Park Avenue

April 6, 2011, by Joey Arak




Park Avenue has seen some wild public art spectacles (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/01/24/hey_park_avenue_how_does_your_rose_garden_grow.php ) lately, but a 23-foot-tall teddy bear that looks like it fell off God's toy shelf and landed on the sidewalk takes the cake. The sculpture, by New York-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer, is called Untitled (Lamp/Bear), and Christie's will auction it off in May. To build buzz for the sale (the bidding may top $10 million), Christie's got approval to exhibit the 35,000 pound copper cub for five months on the plaza outside the Seagram Building at 52nd Street.

The installation process is happening now—the lamp, by the way, actually works—leading to some very confused stares. Though the sculpture looks playful, we wouldn't get too close. Based on what we learned from the Trojan Horse, it's probably filled with North Korean soldiers.

Giant, 35,000 Pound Yellow Teddy Bear by Artist Urs Fischer to Brighten NYC (http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=46276) [Art Daily]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/04/06/giant_yellow_teddy_bear_takes_a_seat_on_park_avenu e.php

April 7th, 2011, 08:31 AM
Cute sculpture.

I am just thrown a bit... I guess the bear has superpowers and accidentally phased into the lamp so now the two are fused together? :confused:

May 14th, 2011, 04:17 AM
OK, I give up, where is this, please?




May 14th, 2011, 06:35 AM
Looks like metrotech

May 14th, 2011, 09:53 AM
^ Thanks, Derek.



July 12th, 2011, 08:34 AM
The collection of outdoor sculpture in New York City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City) is said to be the "greatest outdoor public art museum" in the United States of America (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_of_America). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outdoor_sculpture_in_New_York_City#cite_note-0) With works from such great sculptors as Augustus Saint-Gaudens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus_Saint-Gaudens), Daniel Chester French (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Chester_French) and John Quincy Adams Ward (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Quincy_Adams_Ward), over 300 sculptures are found on the streets and in parks across the New York metropolitan area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_metropolitan_area).

December 5th, 2011, 06:48 PM

(http://www.westsiderag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/raven.jpg) Three sources confirm: this bronze raven sculpture in front of the subway station on 73rd Street and Broadway was facing in the other direction as of last week.

More Peter Woytuk sculptures (http://www.woytuk.com/archives/gallery/the-new-york-sculptures/) near subway stations on Broadway.


December 21st, 2011, 11:22 AM
Hope this trend doesn't start up NYC ...

Barbara Hepworth sculpture stolen from London park

THE GUARDIAN (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/dec/20/barbara-hepworth-sculpture-park-stolen)

Two Forms (Divided Circle) by Barbara Hepworth
which has been stolen from Dulwich park.
Photographs: Southwark council and Trevor Moore

A heavy bronze Barbara Hepworth (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/barbara-hepworth) sculpture (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/sculpture) that has been on show in Dulwich park for more than 40 years has been stolen overnight by suspected metal thieves.

Staff at the park in south London (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/london) were confronted by an empty plinth on Tuesday morning. The thieves apparently drove up to the sculpture after gaining entry by breaking the padlock of the park's Queen Mary gate which leads straight on to the South Circular road.

Rising prices for copper, lead and bronze have triggered a huge increase in metal theft nationally, whether from railways lines, buildings or works of art. The Metropolitan police set up a taskforce to deal with the incidents this week ...

December 22nd, 2011, 11:54 AM
They already do at construction sites.....

May 11th, 2012, 01:25 PM
The fantastic Tom Otterness sculptures (http://www.tomostudio.com/exhibitions_timessquare.html) "Time and Money" that were installed at the Hilton Times Square back in 2000 have been removed, now replaced by deadly dull light boxes in white glass. The future of NYC is being written, and it's banal as all hell.

What was, but are no more:



May 11th, 2012, 02:04 PM
That ROTS...I walk by there all the time and they were fun to look at :mad:

May 11th, 2012, 02:09 PM
Where did the original go?

And is there a shot of the "after"?

May 11th, 2012, 02:13 PM
can see why. It does not scream the name of the place.
glad you can- i can't, whats there now screams the name even less ( much cheaper looking) :rolleyes:
a loss for everyone- including the Hilton:(

May 11th, 2012, 03:07 PM
A Hilton employee told me yesterday that the pieces have been returned to the artist and that they might be installed somewhere outside the city. He didn't have much info.

As to how the new signage out front of the Hilton looks now, it's as banal as this (imagine the logo on the face of a generic white glass box over the street):


May 11th, 2012, 04:58 PM
glad you can- i can't, whats there now screams the name even less ( much cheaper looking) :rolleyes:
a loss for everyone- including the Hilton:(

Scum, I thought the second WAS the actual pic... until I looked closer (I could not see the dark shapes against the dark BG...).

Even that light box could probably have been improved, but why they decided to get rid of the clock, I really do not know. The point is to get your attention, in a good manner, and then tempt you to either go there, or "go there next time". If people want cheap, there are plenty of "NYC cheap" Kaufman designs to satisfy that misplaced frugality.

May 19th, 2012, 01:33 AM
The clock, the bronze, the sculptures, the fun...all gone.
Instead they opted for ULTRA chi...i mean cheap and boring.

May 20th, 2012, 10:39 AM
And even more banal on the 42nd Street side. Hilton probably figured that simple white would stand out amidst all the other TS signage. It does, but zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

May 21st, 2012, 08:49 AM
They want to compete with the Kaufman masterpieces!

June 19th, 2012, 06:51 PM
June 19, 2012, 4:31 pm

Exiled From Times Square, Rambunctious Sculptures Seek a New Home

(http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/david-w-dunlap/)Times Square dazzles, but it is short on pure delight.

Daniel Aubry
They even seemed to be holding up a column, as tiny tourists snapped their picture

That is why the entrances of the Hilton Times Square on West 42nd Street and West 41st Street were such a treat: a small army of imaginative bronze figures by the sculptor Tom Otterness (http://www.tomostudio.com/) clambered over the canopies, under the columns and around the facade.
As at other installations of Mr. Otterness’s playfully subversive sculpture — in the 14th Street station (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/21/arts/design/21dunl.html/) on the Eighth Avenue subway line and in the Nelson A. Rockefeller Jr. Park at Battery Park City — the 60 or so little humanoids at the Hilton looked like hybrids of bowling pins and the Pillsbury Doughboy.
In the Hilton’s group, titled “Time and Money,” they assumed the guise of tourists and police officers and moneybag-wielding plutocrats whose frenetic interactions defied the propriety of the architecture. While one couple danced happily away on the edge of a giant clock face, for instance, others seemed to be laboring below to push the clock off the canopy on which it was poised.
But a few months ago, as the front of the Hilton went under the knife for a makeover, the sculptures were removed.
And as the renovation of the hotel nears completion, it has become clear that the Otterness figures are not coming back.
To be frank, a subtly scaled and static work like “Time and Money” was no match for the overblown, kinetic signs of the other businesses near the hotel’s main entrance at 234 West 42nd Street. Sunstone Hotel Investors (http://www.sunstonehotels.com/company-overview), a real estate investment trust in Aliso Viejo, Calif., which bought the Hilton in 2006 for $242.5 million, wanted to make its property stand out more.
David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
In place of the Otterness figures on West 42nd Street are illuminated panels that change colors.

Robert Braun, a principal in Arianna Braun Architects (http://www.abarchs.com/About.htm), whom Sunstone hired to renovate the hotel, said that when he arrived for his first meeting with the new owners, he could not even find the understated entrance. And this despite the fact that he is a great admirer of Mr. Otterness.
The architects’ solution was to illuminate almost every vertical surface around the entrances to the hotel. They used aluminum-framed panels of laminated glass. The inside of the glass is cast in a rough, crystalline surface to refract the red, blue and green LED nodes behind it. Though each node can be set differently, the facade will usually be lighted in a solid-color, a pastel, that changes constantly but slowly. The gentle rhythms and hues are meant to compete and also contrast with the frenetic surroundings.
There was no room in this new design for the Otterness ensembles, which were commissioned in 2000 by Forest City Ratner Companies, the hotel’s developer, in consultation with the Public Art Fund (http://http://www.publicartfund.org/). They are indivisible and site specific. It would have been aesthetically pointless and artistically indefensible to isolate a few figures and stick them on the new facade. The entire composition had to go.
Where? In storage for now.
“We’d love to find a home for it,” said W. Guy Lindsey (http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=181566&p=irol-govBio&ID=198592), senior vice president for design and construction at Sunstone, which intends to donate the work, not sell it.
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/06/19/blogs/20120619SculptureEmbed2/20120619SculptureEmbed2-articleInline.jpgArianna Braun Architects “Couple Squeezing Moneybag.”
A couple of catches: the recipient must be a public institution, like a high school, a college or a park department.
Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Braun said it was important that Mr. Otterness agree with the choice of the recipient and participate in whatever redesign might be necessary to accommodate the new setting. The recipient will be expected to pay the costs for cleaning, restoring, redesigning and reinstalling the piece; no small thing.
But they will get a full set of Otterness sculptures — “Rich Male Pushing Clock” and “Dancing Couple on Moneybag” and “Male Tourist With Suitcases” and “Female Cop With Flashlight” and many more. And a couple of very large clocks.
The Times Square Alliance was enlisted last year in the search for a new home for the figures. Acknowledging that the sculptures “were a delightful addition” to the district, Tim Tompkins, the alliance president, said, “We did not feel there was a clear path for us to take ownership of them or relocate them.” He said the alliance appreciated the owners’ relocation efforts and respected their “right to renovate their property as they saw fit.”
Susan K. Freedman, the president of the Public Art Fund, said through a spokeswoman that she had been brainstorming with New York City officials on possible relocation sites, but that the fund otherwise had no control or official role to play in the disposition of the works.
And the artist himself? He couldn’t have been more gracious. “I was really flattered to be out there on the scene of 42nd Street for 10 years,” Mr. Otterness said in a brief telephone interview from his Brooklyn studio. “Hopefully, it will find a new home.”

for more pics:

July 7th, 2012, 03:12 AM
Socrates Sculpture Park Transformed Illegal Dump into Cultural Institution

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska



^^^ Before

Inaugural Exhibition, 1986; one of Mark di Suvero's sculptures

The opening of the exhibition, "Sculptors Working" on May 22, 1988

Outdoor Cinema, 1999

Civic Action, 2012

State Fair, 2009 Artwork by Emily Feinstein

Emerging Artist Fellowship 2008

LONG ISLAND CITY — When Mark di Suvero, a well-known abstract sculptor, moved his studio to the Hallet’s Cove area more than 25 years ago, the waterfront there was being used as an illegal dumping ground.

But for Di Suvero, the industrial wasteland seemed perfect for his large-scale work, involving I-beams and heavy steel. So he decided to clear out the garbage and turn it into an artistic space while tryingto engage the community in beautifying the area.

“People realized it was not only a detriment to their neighborhood, but also something that had potential for another use,” said John Hatfield, executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park (http://www.socratessculpturepark.org/index.php), which is in the midst of a year-long celebration of its 25th year.

As part of the celebration — which will continue until September and included a party last Friday — park officials took a look back at the humble beginnings of the space and its transformation over the years.

Shortly after Di Suvero began displaying his work, another famous sculptor, Isamu Noguchi, moved his studio there and the two artists joined their visions to galvanize the effort.

The land was cleared with help from the community and di Suvero erected some of his sculptures in the open air. He asked his artist friends to do the same and called the park Socrates to honor the area's Greek heritage.

“It was a very organic beginning,” Hatfield said.

The inaugural exhibition was organized in September 1986, featuring one of Di Suvero's sculptures, setting the stage for more than two decades of outdoor exhibits.

Since its opening, the park — which is now full of flowers and trees — has hosted the works of about 900 artists — including Richard Nonas and Vito Acconci.

Today, it serves many purposes and is one of the most important cultural institutions in Long Island City, along with MOMA PS1, the Noguchi Museum and Museum of the Moving Image.

The most unique aspect of the park is the transparency of art creation, according to Hatfield. “Here, everything from the beginning, through the process, through the installation and the resulting work is open,” he said, adding that this model “creates the connection between the public, the artist and the art.”

The process presents a contrast, he said, with a typical “museum exhibition where the art appears in the middle of the night and then the curtains are pulled back as if magic has happened.”

To Cecile Chong, 48, a painter and sculptor, who was awarded an Emerging Artist Fellowship from Socrates Sculpture Park in 2011, working in an open studio was a new and precious experience.

She said that as she had worked on her installation, “Broken Cherries” - in which she “beaded” seven of the park’s cherry trees with natural and machine-made beads, depicting “cultural interaction through trade” — people “were asking her lots of questions.”

After a while, she said, she got used to the interruptions and became more friendly with the park’s visitors.

According to Chong, another unique part of working at Socrates was being surrounded by nature. “Trees are a very important part of my art,” she added.

Since its founding, the park has expanded its mission as a visual art organization, adding social and educational programming, including art making workshops, landscape and horticulture workshops, an outdoor international film festival, yoga and Pilates classes, a green market and kayaking classes.

It has also become a popular spot for people to get away. Asia Galej, 30, an Astoria resident, goes to the park often with her 13-month old son, Stefan. “We can sit on the grass, relax and enjoy the view,” said Galej, who has also attended art classes there.

The park's current exhibition, “Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City," (http://www.socratessculpturepark.org/exhibitions/civicaction12.php) tackles the issues of threats to access to green space and the waterfront area, how to protect the area’s natural resources and make it accessible to the community.

"It continues the discussion about the role of artists in development of the area that was initiated 25 years ago, but in the new context of its current redevelopment," Hatfield said.


July 23rd, 2012, 04:56 PM
Petrosino Square

Survival of Serena

Painted bronze

Carole Feuerman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carole_Feuerman)

http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/4705/petrosinosq07.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/809/petrosinosq07.jpg/)

March 12th, 2013, 07:50 AM
Skyscraper Art Lines Park Ave

by Hana Alberts

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50f4f92ea172fa0046d4/HEMSLEY.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50f5f92ea172fa0046d7/HEMSLEY.jpg)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50f9f92ea172fa0046e4/SHERRYNETHERLAND1.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50f9f92ea172fa0046e1/SHERRYNETHERLAND1.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50fbf92ea172fa0046ee/SEAGRAM.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50fbf92ea172fa0046eb/SEAGRAM.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50fef92ea172fa0046f8/FLATIRON2.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50fdf92ea172fa0046f5/FLATIRON2.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e5100f92ea172fa004702/FLATIRON1.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e50fff92ea172fa0046ff/FLATIRON1.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e5103f92ea172fa00470c/EMPIRE%20STATES.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e5102f92ea172fa004709/EMPIRE%20STATES.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e5105f92ea172fa004716/COURTHOUSE.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e5104f92ea172fa004713/COURTHOUSE.jpg)http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e5108f92ea172fa004720/CHRYSLER.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/513e5107f92ea172fa00471d/CHRYSLER.jpg)
(click to enlarge)


http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/02/25/iconic_nyc_skyscrapers_reimagined_as_twisty_sculpt ures.php

The twisty, curvy, topsy-turvy skyscraper sculptures by artist Alexandre Arrechea (above, the Helmsley Building) went up along Park Avenue's median strips this weekend. A prime public art spot for years now, these pedestrian malls in the middle of the avenue are now home to his "No Limits" project (http://magnanmetz.com/no_limits/), which consists of creatively reimagined replicas of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Sherry-Netherland Building, and more. They're all for sale, and on view till June 9.

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/03/11/skyscraper_art_lines_park_ave_craigslists_neighbor hood_map.php#513e509af92ea122ce0309e8

March 14th, 2013, 12:04 PM

Nice place for an afternoon nap.

March 15th, 2013, 01:54 PM
/me sees building rolling down Park Ave...

March 15th, 2013, 10:19 PM
With Zippy hanging on for dear life :D.

Or maybe...


March 15th, 2013, 10:55 PM
Well, that takes me back.

Quality time with good ol' dad.


March 18th, 2013, 01:13 PM
Very tiring.

July 4th, 2013, 09:43 AM
Monumental Steel Sculptures Dance Down Park Avenue

by Jessica Dailey

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/Envious-Composure%2C-installed-at-67th-and-Park-Avenue%2C-NYC-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/Envious-Composure%2C-installed-at-67th-and-Park-Avenue%2C-NYC.jpg)
[Envious Composure, at 67th and Park Avenue. © Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

Abstract forms of molded steel, some reaching 21-feet high and 40-feet wide, have taken over Park Avenue for the summer's biggest (quite literally) public art display. Created specifically for the streetscape by artist Albert Paley (http://www.albertpaley.com/), the monumental sculptures weigh between 2.5 to 7.5 tons. They use about 750 pieces of metal, and it took 10 trucks to transport them to Manhattan from the artist's studio in Rochester. Paley drew inspiration from the surrounding buildings, and he told the Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324637504578563663890250312.html) that he placed "bolder," sharper pieces along the commercial stretches, while the residential areas have sculptures that are "more detailed and intimate." The thirteen artworks will be on view through November 8.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44751f92ea137a700f163/Jester,-installed-on-the-North-side-of-the-intersection-of-57th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC-%282%29.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44751f92ea137a700f166/Jester,-installed-on-the-North-side-of-the-intersection-of-57th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC-%282%29.jpg)
Jester, on the North side of the intersection of 57th and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44753f92ea137a700f16e/Between-the-Shadows,-installed-at-53rd-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44754f92ea137a700f171/Between-the-Shadows,-installed-at-53rd-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg)
Between the Shadows, at 53rd and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44756f92ea137a700f179/Between-the-Shadows,-installed-at-53rd-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC-%282%29.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44758f92ea137a700f17c/Between-the-Shadows,-installed-at-53rd-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC-%282%29.jpg)
Between the Shadows, at 53rd and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d4475af92ea137a700f184/Composed-Presence,-installed-on-the-Park-Avenue-median-between-63rd-and-64th-streets,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d4475bf92ea137a700f187/Composed-Presence,-installed-on-the-Park-Avenue-median-between-63rd-and-64th-streets,-NYC.jpg)
Composed Presence, on the Park Avenue median between 63rd and 64th Streets
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d4475df92ea137a700f18f/Detail-shot-of-Ambiguous-Response,-installed-at-the-southern-end-of-the-intersection-of-61st-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d4475ef92ea137a700f192/Detail-shot-of-Ambiguous-Response,-installed-at-the-southern-end-of-the-intersection-of-61st-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg)
Ambiguous Response, at the southern end of the intersection of 61st and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44761f92ea137a700f19a/Progression,-installed-on-the-Park-Avenue-median-at-52nd-Street-in-front-of-the-Segram-Building,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44762f92ea137a700f19d/Progression,-installed-on-the-Park-Avenue-median-at-52nd-Street-in-front-of-the-Segram-Building,-NYC.jpg)
Progression, on the Park Avenue median at 52nd Street in front of the Seagram Building
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44763f92ea137a700f1a4/Detail-shot-of-Progression,-installed-on-the-Park-Avenue-median-at-52nd-Street-in-front-of-the-Seagram-Building,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44764f92ea137a700f1a7/Detail-shot-of-Progression,-installed-on-the-Park-Avenue-median-at-52nd-Street-in-front-of-the-Seagram-Building,-NYC.jpg)
Detail shot of Progression, on the Park Avenue median at 52nd Street in front of the Seagram Building
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44766f92ea137a700f1ae/Encore,-installed-at-the-southern-end-of-the-intersection-of-57th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44768f92ea137a700f1b1/Encore,-installed-at-the-southern-end-of-the-intersection-of-57th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg)
Encore, at the southern end of the intersection of 57th and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d4476af92ea137a700f1b8/Reflection,-installed-at-54th-Street-and-Park-Ave,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d4476bf92ea137a700f1bb/Reflection,-installed-at-54th-Street-and-Park-Ave,-NYC.jpg)
Reflection, at 54th Street and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d4476df92ea137a700f1c2/Languorous-Repose,-installed-at-66th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d4476ef92ea137a700f1c5/Languorous-Repose,-installed-at-66th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg)
Languorous Repose, at 66th and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44770f92ea137a700f1cc/Jester,-installed-on-the-North-side-of-the-intersection-of-57th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44771f92ea137a700f1cf/Jester,-installed-on-the-North-side-of-the-intersection-of-57th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg)
Jester, on the north side of the intersection of 57th and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44773f92ea137a700f1d6/Counter-Balance,-installed-at-58th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/51d44774f92ea137a700f1d9/Counter-Balance,-installed-at-58th-and-Park-Avenue,-NYC.jpg)
Counter Balance, at 58th and Park Avenue
[© Myers Creative Imaging. Courtesy of Paley Studios.]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/07/03/monumental_steel_sculptures_dance_down_park_avenue .php#more

July 4th, 2013, 09:24 PM

July 5th, 2013, 02:03 AM
They're pretty cool, hey?!

Do you have a favourite, van? Mine is "Between the Shadows", partly because it's next to another favourite, the Lever Building.

Shame it's not a permanent installation.

July 5th, 2013, 02:18 AM
I like "Ambiguous Response" and "Envious Composure".

July 26th, 2013, 08:03 AM


March 16th, 2014, 04:52 PM
Park Avenue, the Art Gallery

Alice Aycock’s Latest Installation Is Unveiled


Alice Aycock, the sculptor, was holding her breath.

Horns were blaring at Park Avenue and 57th Street just before midnight late last week as a massive crane, blocking traffic, lifted one-half of “Cyclone Twist,” a swirling series of white aluminum bands, into place, precisely connecting with its other half already standing on the avenue’s slim median. It was an impressive enough feat that the workers snapped their own cellphone photos.

“Honey, I am in heaven,” said Ms. Aycock, 67, who was supervising the installation of a suite of seven enormous sculptures in aluminum and fiberglass. Called “Park Avenue Paper Chase,” and stretching from 52nd Street to 66th, they are inspired variously by tornadoes, dance movements and drapery folds, and will be up until July 20. “When does someone my age get something like this?” she added. “This is like the Piazza San Marco of New York.”

“Maelstrom,” a spiky assemblage of aluminum ribbons that stretches for some 70 feet near the Seagram Building, has the largest footprint of any sculpture in the history of this storied corridor’s art program, begun in 1969. The pieces are presented by the Sculpture Committee of the Fund for Park Avenue and New York’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Cyclone Twist,” an Alice Aycock art installation, being assembled along Park Avenue.
Credit Richard Perry/The New York Times

“The notion is that there is this big wind that moves up and down the avenue, and that it makes the forms or blows the forms and leaves it in its wake,” said Ms. Aycock, an intense and scrappy artist who is something of a dervish herself.

As is frequently the case with public work, not everyone gets it. “I don’t mind them taking up so much space, but I would prefer a flower arrangement — something natural,” said Courtney Nelson, who passed “Maelstrom” on Monday, the first weekday it was fully installed, on her lunch break.

“I think it’s hideous,” said Irene Stolzer. “It doesn’t fit Park. It reminds me of those paper roses in Chinatown.”

Defenders were also out in force. “It breaks up the Midtown monotony,” said Eric Rolfsen. “Public art should be big — this is New York.”

Ms. Aycock has faced divided public opinion before, as with her 1992 sculpture that suggests a satellite dish on the roof of the 107th Police Precinct House in Flushing, Queens. Some residents said that they thought that a portion of the piece might be an actual surveillance device. (It isn’t — the sculpture is meant to symbolize communication between the police and the community.)

More recently, Ms. Aycock resolved a legal dispute with the operators of Terminal 1 at Kennedy Airport. They wanted to dismantle her huge work “Star Sifter,” finished in 1998. Last year, they compromised on a solution that had her reconfigure the piece and move it to another location in the terminal.

Alice Aycock's “Maelstrom." Credit Richard Perry/The New York Times

Alice Aycock's “Hoop-La." Credit Richard Perry/The New York Times

“I fight hard where it counts,” Ms. Aycock said. “This is what I do, this is who I am, and if you take this away, I’ll just evaporate. In other words, it’s my identity.”

“Park Avenue Paper Chase” is being bankrolled by Ms. Aycock’s Berlin-based dealer, Galerie Thomas Schulte, and another German investor, for more than $1 million, Mr. Schulte said, with the aluminum donated by Alcoa. The works will eventually be sold, as will smaller versions of each piece.

Ms. Aycock, whose work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, made her name creating a hybrid of architecture and sculpture. But her work has evolved from rougher edges to a shinier patina, with celestial references and, often, an aspect of piled-high Russian Constructivism, à la Vladimir Tatlin’s unbuilt tower, “Monument to the Third International,” which she cited as an influential work.

“I admire the fact the she keeps pushing it and doesn’t stay still,” Adam D. Weinberg, the director of the Whitney Museum, said. “That’s the sign of a great artist.”

Ms. Aycock, now based in SoHo, was raised in Harrisburg, Pa. “She had a father in construction, who built huge things,” said Robert Hobbs, who teaches art history at Virginia Commonwealth University and is the author of “Alice Aycock: Sculpture and Projects.”

He continued: “Every night he told her, ‘You have to do something that surprises and fascinates me.’ But now she surprises herself.”

Alice Aycock's "Cyclone Twist," part of “Park Avenue Paper Chase.”
Credit Richard Perry/The New York Times

As she showed her work in the 1970s downtown world, it was hard not to notice that she was frequently the only woman on the scene, Ms. Aycock said — but she put blinders on.

“My father once said, ‘Denial can be very useful,’ ” she said. “You try not to have resentments if you can, because they get in the way of doing the good stuff.”

That approach has led to some 32 public installations. “Her works of the ’70s and ’80s were absolutely extraordinary,” Mr. Weinberg said. “But because so many of them were site-specific and in far-flung places, there’s a huge portion of her work that’s only known through photographs and books, and that may have hurt her a bit.”

Mr. Schulte acknowledged that Ms. Aycock’s career had taken something of a “dip” after the 1980s.

“From that she learned a lot about life and how it can go, but it made her what she is today,” Mr. Schulte said.

Ms. Aycock doesn’t have New York gallery representation, despite solo exhibitions like the one last year at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, N.Y. “Park Avenue Paper Chase” is her chance to remind the world that she’s still capable of big things.

Ms. Aycock compared herself to “Waltzing Matilda,” the one fiberglass piece of her group, which resembles folds of drapery more than a tornado.

“If you listen to the Tom Waits song ‘Waltzing Matilda,’ he’s crawling around the streets, saying, just give me one more chance,” she said. “The piece embodies that. She’s beautiful, but she didn’t necessarily do things the easy way.”

© 2014 The New York Times Company