Why was Bird Bird sitting alone on this bench in Central Park on Monday, February 20th as we walked through the park from Fifth Avenue to Central Park West, on the way to the Not My President’s Day anti-Drumpf Rally? I bet I know. To make a donation to PBS here in NYC, you can visit This Link.
Across the centuries, memorials have acted as public sites of collective remembrance and markers of our shared cultural heritage. Some monuments continue to hold a contemporary significance, while others have become obsolete in an ever-changing urban and social landscape; their meanings often lost from civic consciousness.
Memorial, by British artist David Shrigley honors one of the most common of all acts: the writing for a grocery list. By engrave this ephemeral, throwaway list on a solid slab of granite — a material ubiquitous with the language of monuments — the artist humorously subverts both a daily routine and the role of the classic memorial.
While Shrigley’s shopping list might appear to posture as a counter-monument, through its celebration of common activity, its anonymity and absurdity, the sculpture becomes a memorial both to no one and to everyone — perhaps standing as a simple but poignant ode to humanity.
David Shrigley: Memorial will be on view through February 26, 2017 in Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street.
For her first public commission in the United States, Tatiana Trouvé (b. 1968, Cosenza, Italy) has made a work that responds to Central Park. She came to see the miles of pedestrian paths that traverse its landscape as similar to the arteries of a living being. There’s no singular way to walk through the park, but rather a multitude of possible routes that may be followed according to our own desires.
Drawing on existing maps, Trouvé isolated all of the marked pathways in the park and estimated their distances. She identified 212, from secluded paths to prominent thoroughfares, ranging in length from around 60 feet to four miles. Translating her research into three-dimensional form, Trouvé created three large-scale storage racks that house a total of 212 spools.
Each spool is wound with rope equivalent in length to a corresponding pathway and labeled to identify its location in the park.
Tatiana Trouvé’s work is also a reflection on the broader cultural significance of walking. It’s an activity that ranges from personal recreation to political statement, and has inspired poets, musicians, writers, and artists. Thus, the artist has associated each pathway with a title drawn from culture and history that relates to walking. In this way, Desire Lines is both a systematic inventory of the park and an invitation to explore the political and poetic resonance of the simple act of taking a walk.
Desire Lines by Tatiana Trouvé (curated by Nicholas Baume) is on Exhibit Through Sunday August 230, 2105 at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. Make sure you head into the Park for some exploring after you view it, because it’s gorgeous out there!
Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout is a site-specific installation by Dan Graham which was installed in April of this year. Comprising curves of steel and two-way mirrored glass set between ivy hedgerows, Graham’s structure is part garden maze, part modernist skyscraper facade. Viewers who enter the work are transformed into performers; in glimpsing their own reflections, they are also made acutely aware of the act of looking.
For the past fifty years Graham has engaged his interest in architecture and the way it structures public space through a multidisciplinary practice encompassing writing, photography, video, performance, and—beginning in the 1970s—sculptural environments of mirrored glass and metal. He calls these hybrid structures “pavilions” after the ornamental buildings that decorate seventeenth- and eighteenth-century formal gardens—architectural fantasies inspired by the ruins of classical antiquity.
Graham’s pavilions similarly invite romance or play, but their forms and materials have a more contemporary source: the gleaming glass facades of modern office towers. For the artist, the mirrored cladding of a corporate headquarters symbolizes economic power and sleek efficiency and also provides camouflage, reflecting the world around it as it shields what happens inside from prying eyes.
The artist’s pavilions likewise respond to their specific sites. The Roof Garden, where the idyllic expanse of Central Park confronts the tall buildings of midtown Manhattan, is both of the city and at a certain remove from it. The evergreen plantings that edge the parapets also remind Graham of the shrubbery that often demarcates property lines in the New Jersey suburbs of his youth.
His Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout, set within a specially engineered terrain designed in collaboration with the Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt (born 1957, Balzers, Liechtenstein), employs these multilayered references—palace gardens, public parks, contemporary corporate architecture, and the suburban lawn—as it engages the viewer in a historic and complex mirror play.
The Roof Garden Commission, Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout By Dan Graham with Günther Vogt will be on Exhibit Through November 2nd, 2014. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is Located at 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street) in NYC.
Sally Curcio’s Bubbles series artworks – 12 x 12-inch, domed fantasy world dioramas created with colorful beads and other repurposed objects – are a new passionate favorite thing of mine that I discovered accidentally through a referral from another artist, with whom Curcio and I share mutual acquaintanceship. Thank god for happy accidents.
Right, now you can see a selection of Curcio’s Bubbles on exhibit at J. Cacciola Gallery, as part of A Redefined Existence, a thematically-connected group show which also includes sewn works by artist China Marks and surreal paintings by Rick Newton.
Sometimes Curcio’s worlds represent real cities or places, such as Miami Beach or Central Park, but more often they are imaginary worlds elucidating an idea or embracing a concept, which delight the eyes and inspire the mind.
It was a pleasure to meet and have the chance to chat with Curcio at last week’s opening reception. She is not only astoundingly talented but also a very cool lady who proved to have a good sense of humor when I jokingly asked her if the Bubbles were inspired by Stephen King’s Under The Dome (adapted into a hopelessly shitty TV series that I am now hooked on) and offered that they also remind me of the Popomatic die roller, which she admits to being too young to remember (good for her)!
See more of the fabulous art of Sally Curcio at Sally Curcio Dot Com.
A Redefined Existence featuring the art of Sally Curcio (with China Marks and Rick Newton) will be on Exhibit Through July 26th, 2014 at J. Cacciola Gallery, Located at 537 West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Just in time for Spring, Olaf Breuning’s installation, Clouds arrived in Central Park on March 4th. The six Bright Blue Clouds tower nearly 35 feet above the plaza at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 60th Street just on the border of the Park. Held aloft among the trees by rudimentary steel supports, the Clouds are made of polished and painted aluminum and were cut to match a hand drawing by the artist.
Calling to mind the set design of a school play or child-like drawings of the sky, the idea for this work is inspired by one of the artist’s staged photographs. For that earlier work, Breuning used cranes and cherry pickers to raise large blue drawings of clouds high in the air, creating a momentary scene to be captured by the camera.
The exhibit is supported by Public Art Fund. Find out more about the Clouds installation at This Link!
Argentinian-born Artist Tomás Saraceno has created a constellation-like installation of large, interconnected modules constructed with transparent and reflective materials for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Visitors may enter and walk through these habitat-like, modular structures, which are grouped in a nonlinear configuration.
Over the past decade, Saraceno has established a practice of constructing habitable networks based upon complex geometries and interconnectivity that merge art, architecture and science. The interdisciplinary project “Cloud Cities/Air Port City” is rooted in the artist’s investigation of expanding the ways in which we inhabit and experience our environment.
Interior Shot of Cloud City with Stairs
Museum guests wishing to physically climb up and into Cloud City can pick up a free, time-stamped ticket on the Museum’s 4th floor on the way to the the Roof (just ask the elevator operator to let you off). Guidelines for accessing/climbing the structure can be found at This Link.
Although we did not enter the Sculpture, Geoffrey and I enjoyed viewing and photographing it very much. Plus, you cannot beat the Roof of the Met for views of Central Park!
Cloud City will be on Exhibit Through November 4, 2012 on the Roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Located at 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street). New York, NY 10028 Phone (212)535-7710 for Hours and More Information.
Museum Guests Climb Cloud City on the Roof of the Met