PsychoBarn, the house from the movie Psycho is recreated on the rooftop of the Met Museum
May is the month to get back out into New York City’s parks (if you haven’t done so already), with a plethora of exciting art installations from Brooklyn Bridge Park to the High Line to Harlem. There will be pieces to see in plazas and public spaces from The Battery to 59th Street; from the roof garden at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center. Also don’t miss some of this past year’s best outdoor installations which will be coming down in May and June.
Here are 16 art installations not to miss this upcoming month!
1. Thousands of Pigeons to Be Released Nightly from Brooklyn Navy Yard on Weekends
From May 7 through June 12, thousands of birds will emerge and circle above the river as the sun sets on Fridays through Sundays. Creative Time and the Brooklyn Navy Yard will present the ephemeral installation Fly By Night by artist Duke Riley, paying homage to niche community of pigeon keeping and the pigeon obsessed in New York City.
Small leg bands, which historically have held messages on pigeons, will be replaced with tiny LED lights, which will illuminate the sky. This work from Riley reminds us of our once dense population of rooftop pigeons that stretched across all five boroughs and brings attention to a forgotten subculture. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was once home to the country’s largest naval fleet of pigeon carriers and a perfect setting for this tribute to a history of pigeon keeping. Tickets are on waitlist only, but stay tuned for our photos of the event in early May.
2. A Recreation of the House from Psycho on the Roof Garden of The Met Museum
Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), the new roof garden installation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The fourth annual site-specific roof garden installation has arrived at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Entitled Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), the installation by British artist Cornelia Parker is a celebration of American culture, blending the use of red barn materials with the artist’s rendition of Batse Hotel, the house made iconic from the 1960 film Psycho, and Edward Hopper’s painting House by the Railroad. With great attention paid to every detail, PsychoBarn is surrounded by the New York City skyline, creating great contrast. Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street through October 31, 2016.
Buy ticket online to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to save 10% on admission and skip the line
3. Rotating Marquee Sign of “Understanding” in Brooklyn Bridge Park
“Understanding” by Martin Creed being installed at Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Martin Creed has taken a page from vintage Times Square marquees and roadside signs in his new installation, UNDERSTANDING at Brooklyn Bridge Park. His chosen word is spelled out in ten-foot tall by fifty-foot wide letters located on a steel I-beam overlooking lower Manhattan and Pier 6. UNDERSTANDING rotates 360 degrees at varying speeds, shifting our perspective, and will be on view from May 4 through October 23, 2016.
4. Martin Puryear’s Big Bling at Madison Square Park
Big Bling by sculpture artist Martin Puryear
Big Bling by artist Martin Puryear is a multi-tiered, wooden structure, wrapped in fine chain-linked fence. A gold-leafed shackle will be anchored near the top of the forty-foot high structure. Big Bling is part animal form, part abstract sculpture, and part intellectual meditation and is the largest temporary outdoor sculpture Puryear has created. Big Bling will be on view from May 16 through January 8, 2017 in Madison Square Park.
5. New Art Installations on The High Line
“Smart Tree” by Nari Ward
Smart Tree by artist Nari Ward is a recreation of a childhood memory in which the artist will cover a Smart car in tire treads, abandoned baby strollers, a scrolling script of “We the People,” dangling shoelaces, and an apple tree growing out of its roof. The installation was created from materials Ward collected from various neighborhoods including his hometown in Jamaica, neighborhoods in New Jersey, and Harlem where he has lived since 1983. He brings to the fore social topics ranging from healing and health care, to justice and immigrant identity struggles. Smart Tree will be on view on The High Line at West 23rd Street from April 29 to March, 2017.
6. Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin” Coming to 42nd Street
“Pumpkin, Sky” will be permanently located at the entrance to 605 West 42nd Street
Sky, a new luxury rental building located at 605 West 42nd Street will unveil a giant bronze pumpkin sculpture as a permanent installation at the entrance to the building. Pumpkin, by the renowned sculpture artist Yayoi Kusama, measures eight feet on all sides, and weighs 2,668 pounds. This is not the first time New Yorkers have seen Kusama’s pumpkins (you may recall the popular Give Me Love exhibition at the David Zwirner gallery) but it is her first permanent public artwork in New York, and will be unveiled on May 3rd.
7. Sideways Swimming Pool –Van Gogh’s Ear – at Rockefeller Center
“Van Gogh’s Ear” located in the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center
The artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, famous for the fake Prada store outside of Marfa, Texas, created a site-specific installation that turns Fifth Avenue on its ear – literally. The installation, Van Gogh’s Ear, presented by the Public Art Fund, is located on Fifth Avenue at the entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center between 49th and 50th Streets. This large-scale, new work stands singular, as if for sale, but without the Fifth Avenue window. The thirty-foot high, four-and-a-half ton pool entitled Van Gogh’s Ear will be on view through June 3rd. See more of our photographs of the work here.
8. Oversized, Infalatable Rabbits “Intrude” in Brookfield Place
In celebration of the one year anniversary of the reopening of Brookfield Place New York, ArtsBrookfield commissioned two giant rabbits, each scaling over two-stories in height, to join Intrude’s five original sculptures, which were prominent pieces of work during a 2014 festival in Sydney. Created by Australian artist Amanda Parer, the rabbits are viewed as an animal of contradiction, since she comes from a country where they have caused a great imbalance to Australia’s natural ecosystem. In her installation, she hopes to reveal the serious environmental message of our natural world in all its fragility.
The rabbit installations are inside the grand Winter Garden space and outside on the plaza overlooking New York Harbor. Intrude will be on view through April 30th at Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street.
9. Wanderlust on the High Line
Wanderlust is a group exhibition by eleven artists exploring themes of walking, journeys and pilgrimages that we take every day. Using The High Line as a canvas, viewers are invited to further explore the many implications of our most natural motion – walking. Wanderlust will take place from April 21st through March 2017 at various locations along The High Line, with a series of public programs to be announced.
10. DUMBO Boulders in Brooklyn Bridge Park
DUMBO Boulders opened beneath the Manhattan Bridge in April
The outdoor bouldering facility DUMBO Boulders has opened in the north end of Brooklyn Bridge Park on the DUMBO waterfront. Located directly beneath the Manhattan Bridge, it is family friendly, perfect for all ages, and skills levels, and has a spectacular climbing view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan. Grand opening festivities for DUMBO Boulders will take place on May 7th.
11. “Looking Up” on Park Avenue
“Looking Up” by artist Tom Friedman,, with Urs Fischer “Big Clay #4” in the background
Untapped Cities has often encouraged readers to look up. Tom Friedman’s whimsical thirty-three foot tall figure entitled Looking Up is part of a series, with the largest of these works acquired by The Contemporary Austin. New York received a similar thirty-three foot sculpture which will be on view through June 2016. Looking Up is a collaboration between the Luring Augustine galleries, Fund for Park Avenue and New York City Parks. Looking up is located on Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets.
12. Cool Globes at The Battery
We were delighted to recently receive word that Cool Globes at The Battery will remain on view next to Pier A through this summer. Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet is a public art installation designed to not only raise awareness about global warming, but also tries to spark practical solutions – and is doing it in a very creative way. The brain-child of founder Wendy Abrams, Cool Globes is her way of capturing the public’s attention to the complex problems that face our planet today.
The current installation consists of twelve globes, each five feet in diameter, and carries a message on the accompanying pedestal. The globes have been designed by a variety of people from musicians and actors to athletes and even elected officials, in addition to artists. Cool Globes is located at the tip of the West Side Highway at Pier A.
13. “Two Orchids” Next to Central Park
The Doris C. Freedman Plaza next to Central Park and the Plaza Hotel is still sporting Two Orchids by German artist Isa Genzken, presented by The Public Art Fund. Located at the entrance to Central Park on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, the sculptures rise to 28 feet and 34 feet, and are a commentary on the ubiquity of the once-rare and exotic flowers.
The Public Art Fund description is that of an “idealized, colossal version of the familiar plant; a civic monument to the perfect orchid, now the chosen ornament of contemporary culture….the mass-produced white orchid has become the quintessential flower of our age; global, accessible, and open to interpretation.” Two Orchids will be on view through August 2s1st, 2016.
14. The DNA Totem in Marcus Garvey Park
The DNA Totem overlooking Fifth Avenue on 120th Street
Marcus Garvey Park has come alive as another destination for sculpture artists within the New York City Parks Department. The DNA Totem, by sculptor artist Suprina Kenney opens a discussion on the subject of human evolution and the footprint humans leave behind. The ten-foot tall spiral form, which makes up the DNA Totem, is fixed with discarded items donated by local residents, and found objects from the artist. The objects bring attention to the 102 tons of trash we each create in our lifetime.
The DNA Totem sits on the first level of the Acropolis, overlooking Fifth Avenue on 120th Street, a few levels below the sight of the historic Harlem Fire Watchtower, which is currently being restored, and a half block away from the Maya Angelou townhouse. The DNA Totem will be on view through September 30th, 2016. Stay tuned for more installations in this park coming in June.
15. Bringing “Disorder” to Union Square
Disorder: 9 Uneven Angles by French artist Bernar Venet was commissioned by New York City’s Department of Transportation Art Program, in collaboration with the Paul Kasmin Gallery, and the Union Square Partnership. As the press description describes, the “structure plays off of the verticality of the surrounding buildings in the Union Square area, and is situated at an intersection where high volumes of pedestrian and vehicular traffic all cross at different angles.” The twenty-five foot tall installation, Disorder: 9 Uneven Angles is located on Broadway and 17th Street and will be on view through June 22nd, 2016.
16. “My Circle” at Union Square Triangle Park
In celebration of artist Beverly Pepper’s 93rd birthday this past December, the Union Square Partnership, along with New York City Parks and the Marlborough Gallery, installed the artist’s interactive sculpture My Circle on the Union Square Park Triangle. The sculpture features an incomplete circle that represents imperfection, beginning and ending, and the “connectedness of existence.” The circle changes in shape, depending on where you stand. My Circle will be on view through May 2016 and is located on the south-east edge of Union Square Park.