Tag Archive | Central Park

Mark Manders Tilted Head at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Tilted Head Front View
All Photos By Gail

Mark Manders’ Tilted Head is a work of fiction. It has the appearance of unfired clay combined with everyday objects but in fact is made entirely of cast bronze. The cracks and fissures that cover its surface imply an organic process of drying and decay, yet its metal form is fixed.

Tilted Head 1

It might suggest an incomplete model, abandoned in the artist’s studio, if not for the fact that its colossal size and civic location lend it the air of a grand monument. Eyes shut, the androgynous figure’s mask-like features are at rest, undisturbed by an abrupt slice through a third of its face. The unfinished side of the head is held as if in a splint by wooden planks, one tied with rope.

Tilted Head Rear View

At the back, chairs and a suitcase, all slightly reduced in size, protrude from a mass of formless material. These shifts in scale, unexplained objects, and trompe l’oeil bronze effects alter our perception and spark the imagination.

Tilted Head Back Detail
Back of Sculpture, Detail

Mark Manders (b. 1968, The Netherlands) has been interested in the human figure throughout his career, and is particularly fascinated with the head, which he sometimes depicts detached from the body and juxtaposed with different elements. These heads are always stylized representations rather than individualized portraits.

Tilted Head Side View

His approach creates a paradoxical sense of both immediacy and timelessness, of something newly made with fresh clay yet belonging to the traditions of classical statuary. With Tilted Head, Manders has rendered a compelling fiction of human form that inhabits a poetic space between representation and abstraction, serenity and rupture, life and mortality.

Tilted Head Right Side View

Mark Manders’ Tilted Head is Curated by Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume. It Will be on Display at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, Adjacent to Central Park, Through September 1st, 2019.

Update: I was near the Park over the Memorial Day weekend and got this new shot of the sculpture with Summer’s lush greenery in the background!

Tilted Head in Summer

 

Yinka Shonibare MBE: Wind Sculpture (SG) I in Central Park

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture
All Photos By Gail

I went up to Central Park on a recent Sunday to check out the latest Public Art Fund-sponsored large scale sculpture, which is  Yinka Shonibare MBE’s Wind Sculpture (SG) I, installed on March 7th in the Doris C. Freedman Plaza. Unfortunately, and likely in an attempt to keep people from climbing on the monumental artwork, the park had grouped a number metal crowd barriers around the base of the sculpture on all sides, which seriously hindered my ability to get really great photos. Still, I did my best.

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

One of Britain’s best- known contemporary artists, Yinka Shonibare (b 1962, London) spent his childhood between England and Nigeria. He settled permanently in London in the early 1980s, where he attended art school. Shonibare regards himself as a cultural hybrid, a product of complex and layered relationships forged by centuries of global trade, migration, politics, and cultural exchange. His work reflects these currents in ways that often playfully invite us to look beyond appearances and assumption about identity.

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Wind Sculpture (SG) I takes on the paradoxical task of manifesting the invisible. We can’t see the wind, but we do see its effects. Here, the dynamic movement of a piece of fabric in a gust of wind is rendered in solid fiberglass on monumental scale. Covered with an intricate pattern, the 23-foot-tall sculpture rises above the plaza, reminiscent of the untethered sail of a ship billowing in the breeze. Its unique, hand-painted pattern in turquoise, red, and orange — colors that the artist associates with his childhood on the beaches of Lagos  —  is inspired by Dutch wax batik print, which Shonibare has called the “perfect metaphor for multilayered identities.”

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Wind Sculpture is the first work in a second generation — thus (SG)1 — of his celebrated series and continues Shonibare’s ongoing examination of the construction of cultural identity through the lens of colonialism. The work creates an opportunity to reflect on social issues associated with our current moment, including the movement of people and ideas across borders and the role of monuments in heterogeneous societies.

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

This sculpture is unbelievably gorgeous and looks different from every angle. Next time I am in the area I will see if the eyesore barriers are gone, and if so I will add new photos to the post!

Yinka Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture (SG) I Will Be On View Through October 14th, 2018 at Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Located at the Southeast Entrance to Central Park (5th Avenue and 60th Street), NYC.

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, In and Around NYC!

Gilded Cage Central Park
Ai Weiwei’s Gilded Cage in Central Park (All Photos By Gail)

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has a new series of public art sculpture installations up in Manhattan and across the five boroughs, which is called Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Inspired by the international migration crisis and current geopolitical landscape, the ambitious project is installed in over 300 locations, including two monumental sculptures situated within in highly-trafficked Manhattan parks, along with security fences on top of, and in between, buildings (such as The Cooper Union), and several bus shelters. In addition, there are also graphic and photographic works on flags, billboards and lamppost banners. I saw a lot of these banners along Chrystie Street, which is where I also got my first glimpse of one.

Fence On Chrystie
Rooftop Fence Installation at 189 Chrystie Street

Fence On Chrystie

Ai’s metal fence is designed as a modular form, readily adaptable to the existing architecture, to span and partition the space.

Fence On Chrystie

You can still see the fences at night, because they are illuminated.

Fence On Bowery
Rooftop Fence Installation on Bowery

Don’t forget to look up!

Bus Shelter at Ave C and E 6th Street
Bus Shelter at Ave C and E 6th Street

Gilded Cage Central Park

While it’s fun to spot the fences, it’s the interactive sculptures in the parks that really bring the Instagram Moments. Gilded Cage located at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park (at 5th Avenue and 60th Street) can be entered on one side.

Post Continues, With More Photos, After The Jump!

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Snails Tile Mosaic in the Fifth Avenue Subway

Snails Tile Mosaic
All Photos By Gail

A family of lavender-shelled snails makes its way to the train in the 5th Avenue and 59th Street Subway Station, where you can catch the N, Q or R Trains, or exit to Central Park!

They are moving slow, so it easy to get a good shot on your Subway Art Safari!

Snails Tile Mosaic Detail

Open House By Liz Glynn in Central Park

Open House Installation View
All Photos By Gail

At the turn of the 20th century, New York City’s wealthy elite gathered in opulent private ballrooms to define their social status. In contrast, Central Park granted democratic access to public space when it was established in the 1850s as one of the nation’s first urban parks.

Open House Arches

Open House is a new commission by Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glynn (b. 1981, Boston, MA) that highlights these historic class distinctions. It references one of the grandest Fifth Avenue interiors designed by Gilded Age architect Stanford White: the now-demolished William C. Whitney Ballroom.

Open House Arches

Open House transforms Doris C. Freedman Plaza into an open air ballroom, where only scattered furniture and arches remain eight blocks south from the original mansion.

Open House Installation View
Check This Guy Out

Glynn’s lavish Louis XIV sofas, chairs, and footstools evoke the historic home, but with a twist —- these objects feature sculpted additions and are cast in concrete, a populist material more commonly seen in modern architecture.

Cement Chair

With this revision, the artist invites the public to enjoy a previously exclusive interior space that is now open and accessible to all. In this strange facsimile, Glynn addresses the evolving face of a city: who has access to space in a society that is increasingly divided along socio-economic lines?

Open House will be on Exhibit Through September 24th, 2017, at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Located at 5th Avenue and 60th Street at the Entrance to Central Park in Manhattan.

Open House Signage

Penguins Tile Mosaic in the 5th Avenue Subway

Mosaic Tile Penguins
Photos By Gail

This family of happy Penguins can be found right by the stairs as you exit from the N, Q and R Trains at 59th Street (Central Park South) and Fifth Avenue. This also the stop you would take to get to the Central Park Zoo.

Mosaic Tile Penguins

Big Bird Sitting on a Park Bench

Big Bird in Central Park
Photo By Gail

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.

David Shrigley, Memorial

David Shrigley Memorial
All Photos By Gail

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, Rear View
Memorial, Rear View (Plaza Hotel in Background)

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. 

Tatiana Trouvé’s Desire Lines in Central Park

Desire Lines
All Photos By Gail

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.

Desire Lines Black Spools

Desire Lines Black Spools

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.

Desire Lines Green Spools

Each spool is wound with rope equivalent in length to a corresponding pathway and labeled to identify its location in the park.

Desire Lines Pink and Purple Spools

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 Pink Spools

Desire Lines Pink Spool Detail

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!

Central Park

Desire Lines Green Spools

Dan Graham Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout (with Günther Vogt) On The Roof of The Met

Dan Graham Installation
All Photos By Gail

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.

Dan Graham Installation

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.

Dan Graham Installation Hedge

Dan Graham Installation

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.

Dan Graham Installation Hedge

Dan Graham Skyline Reflection

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.

Dan Graham Installation

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.

Dan Graham Installation Curve

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.

Central Park Sklyline from Roof of Met