Tag Archive | Doris C. Freedman Plaza

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

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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. 

Olaf Bruening Clouds In Central Park

Olaf Breuning Clouds
All Photos By Gail

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.

Olaf Breuning Clouds View Towards Park
View of Clouds Looking Towards The Park

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.

Olaf Breuning Clouds View Towards 5th Ave
Clouds View Looking Towards 5th Ave

The exhibit is supported by Public Art Fund. Find out more about the Clouds installation at This Link!

Olaf Breuning Clouds Signage