A new art installation in Long Island City. Image via SculptureCenter
July is arriving with a splash, literally, in the form of an 8,000-square-foot mural on a pool and mists of water vapor giving off golden fluctuations every two seconds. When visiting New York City’s best art installations this July, viewers may also go bird-watching at the Winter Garden and enjoy colorful new Essex Street Market murals. Our parks unfold a whole host of installations this month, including a two-headed goddess enlightening us with The Language of Things at City Hall Park and showing us how Art in Public Spaces should enhance our lives.
We will go back in time to view the early works of a famous New York City street photographer and honor what was once the Greenwich Village studio of an iconic artist. Finally, we will have a new and engaging Midnight Moment through the end of the month. Here are 11 installations and exhibits you might enjoy during the month of July.
13. MoMA PS1 Brings Rockaway! to Fort Tilden
Image courtesy the artist and MoMA PS1. Photo by Pablo Enriquez.
The Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse, who previously transformed the Amtrak corridor in Philadelphia, has given a splash of color, using her unique spray painting technique, to MoMA PS1’s art installation, Rockaway!. The Gateway National Recreation area at Fort Tilden, which was deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy, houses the decaying aquatics building. The building, which was part of a former military base, was painted three shades of red, alternated with white in this large-scale sculptural installation.
The entire process took one week. Since Hurricane Sandy, the structure used for this installation has been deemed unsafe, and will be razed when the installation comes to an end in November. Klaus Biesenbach, curator at large for MoMA PS1, hopes the exhibit will create a dialogue about the surrounding environment and the planning of future storms.
12. Opening of The Hills on Governors Island
On July 19th, The Hills on Governors Island will open featuring four new hills, reaching up to 70 feet. The above, Slide Hill, will feature four slides. Lookout Hill has an incredible view of the the lower Manhattan skyline, New York harbor, New Jersey, and the rest of Governors Island. Stay tuned for more photographs of our sneak peek look into the construction site tomorrow.
11. Basquiat Plaque Unveiling
57 Great Jones Street
During the 1980’s, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) lived in a loft studio at 57 Great Jones Street. The studio was owned by his friend and mentor, Andy Warhol. As part of the historic plague program, The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) will be unveiling a plaque marking the site of Basquiat’s former home and studio. The unveiling, sponsored by the GVSHP and Two Boots, will take place on July 13 at 6 pm. The event is free but reservations are requested.
10. Rainbow Colored Pool on Roosevelt Island
This is the second year for Roosevelt Island‘s Manhattan Park Pool summer installation pool mural. Sponsored by K&Co and Pliskin Architecture, this year’s 8,000-square-foot mural by artist Andrew Faris is titled Block Party, and was unveiled on Memorial Day. It is accompanied by the pool’s other design elements that include lounge chairs, hammocks, and sun-umbrellas. This colorful pool, overlooking Manhattan, comes with a fee. On weekdays, residents of Roosevelt Island must pay $15, and non-residents pay $35. On weekends, residents pay $25 while non-residents pay $50. Children under the age of one are free.
Curious about other local pools? Check out 10 of NYC’s most unique swimming pools from past to present, and into the future.
9. Air Pressure Unveiled at Brookfield Place
A close-up of the 175 animated fabric birds throughout the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place
Brookfield Place is flying high with the new installation Air Pressure, by Toronto-based Studio F Minus. This week, 175 animated fabric birds descended on the Winter Garden with the concept of air as a medium. Suspended from the ceiling, each bird “gives forms to air, suspends that form in air, and also uses that material as a force to animate the sculpture.” The creators, Brad Hindson and Mitchel Chan, were at the exhibit to greet Untapped Cities. They explained how they created the effect of flying by using electronic timers that switch fans on and off inside each bird, allowing the wings of each to move independently in a flapping motion and responding to internal air pressure fluctuations. Air Pressure will be on view at Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street, through September 12, 2016.
While you’re at Brookfield Place, be sure to take a ride on The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Cooperation, outside on the plaza through July 7.
8. Voyage will be July’s Midnight Moment
“Voyage” by artist Beau Stanton at Times Square Arts. Image courtesy of Times Square Arts
For the month of July, Times Square Arts will be featuring Voyage by artist Beau Stanton on its electronic billboards known as Midnight Moment, from 11:57 pm to midnight each night. In this installation, Mr. Stanton hopes to take the viewer on a journey through a series of events and environments deep under the sea, surrounded by mythical beasts, haunting shipwrecks, and ruins of lost civilizations. Voyage, a multi-channel animated narrative, addresses man’s eternal struggle with nature, environmental concerns, and our thirst for discovery. Midnight Moment is a monthly presentation of The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. Voyage is curated by Lori Zimmer, creator of Art Nerd New York.
7. Kenny Scharf on the East River and in the Bronx
Image of NEVERENDINGGOGO mural and TotemOh by artist Kenny Scharf. Image via NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney
Friends of the East River Esplanade and New York City Parks commissioned artist Kenny Scharf to create a banner and accompanying mural on a brick column at 116th Street and FDR Drive, but the banner was stolen a few days after installation. TotemOh (far right in the photo) shows Scharf’s recognizable cartoon-inspired style. The commissioned artworks are part of a program to restore and reinvent this portion of the esplanade, attracting more people to the waterfront’s running paths, bike paths, and fishing piers.
The banner entitled NEVERENDINGOGO, spanned over sixty feet overlooking the East River, and corresponded with an exhibition of the artist’s work at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor. The program “Public Art on the Esplanade in East Harlem” has had a bumpy start since its beginning in 2015, when its first installation, East River Flows, sponsored by the West Harlem Art Fund, was vandalized. Jennifer Ratner, from Friends of the Esplanade, told Untapped Cities today that the group hopes to be able to reprint the banner and have it back up along the waterfront within the next few weeks.
In May 2016, Untapped Cities found Scharf working on a commissioned mural in the Bronx. The 400-foot mural (below), just south of the Cross Bronx Expressway on Third Avenue, was commissioned by Krinos Foods for the side of their building.
Kenny Scharf working on Bronx mural commissioned by Krinos Foods
6. The Language of Things at City Hall Park
Artist Adam Pendleton created The Language of Things at City Hall Park
Exploring forms of language through sculptural and interactive works, The Public Art Fund is presenting the exhibit The Language of Things opening in City Hall Park on June 29. The exhibition features seven artists who will present situational works, auditory pieces, and poems revolving around the idea that language is not limited to the form of words. The seven artists include Carol Bove, Claudia Comte, Michael Dean, Adam Pendleton, Tino Sehgal, Chris Watson, and Hannah Weiner. The in-depth interpretation of this thematic exhibit will include a female vocalist on the park’s pathways, murmurations made by flocking starlings, seven white marble sculptures in seven variations of the letter “U,” large-scale black concrete geometric forms that visitors are free to walk around, a series of Morse code poems, and work that poetically communicates the mystical power of an object. Located at City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan, The Language of Things will be on view through September 29, 2016.
Artist Hannah Weiner, Code Poems, for The Language of Things in City Hall Park
5. Colorful Essex Street Market Mural
Image from Essex Street Market/LES Partnership
The LES Partnership and NYCEDC have commissioned renowned muralist Gera Lozano to paint a 200-square-foot mural to brighten up the exterior of the seventy-six year old Essex Street Market. In addition, the interior space now has five new canvases placed over entryways and vendors’ stalls, also painted by Mr. Lozano. These site-specific murals portray the colorful findings sold within. The Essex Street Market will be moving next door in 2018 as part of the Essex Crossing development project. You might remember the LES Partnership from the 100 Gates Project, which is expected to add forty gates in 2016, bringing the project to eighty-five gates once completed.
Image courtesy of LES Partnership
4. Meridian (Gold) in Long Island City
Image via SculptureCenter
A new public art installation, Meridian (Gold), by Brooklyn artist Mika Tajima, will help you understand the value of gold in real-time. Through the use of LED lights, the mists of water in the center of the sculpture will change color whenever the price of gold rises or decreases. They turn magenta if the price goes up and cyan if it goes down. A computer algorithm checks the price every two seconds. Mika Tajima was among three artists who were invited to make proposals for a public artwork in Long Island City, with the works presented to eight high school students from Public Process, an intensive program for students that use New York City to explore the history and impact of public art and its influence on the community.
Last summer, the students participated in a two-week course held by curators, architects, historians, and art organization representatives. On the last day of the course, the students debated the three proposals and selected Mika Tajima’s Meridian (Gold). Curated by SculptureCenter, Meridian (Gold) is on view at Hunter’s Point South Park until September 25, 2016. Enter the park at Center Blvd. and Borden Avenue.
3. Studio in the Park at the Queens Museum
Photos via Queens Museum
Nathan Kensinger, photographer and founder of Chance Ecologies will be doing a six-week residency at the Studio in the Park, the adorable mobile studio from Queens Museum. The program will be using the studio as a center to investigate the entirety of the nearby Flushing River, with public events happening from July 1st to August 15th. Saturday, July 2nd is the launch event at the studio, including a picnic in the park, walk to the river, and a mapping event.
2. The M2M Installation in Riverside Park
“Everything Breaks” by Tanda Francis can be found just past the 69th Street entrance in Riverside Park
For the sixth year, The Art Students League’s “Model to Monument” (M2M) sculptures arrived in Riverside Park. Seven artists were chosen, including Aaron Bell, Sheila Berger, James Emerson, Tanda Francis, Markus Rudolph Holtby, Sarah Thompson Moore, and Shiho Sato. They used the theme “Art in the Public Square,” exploring goodness, roots, perspective, nature in the city, and social cohesion. This will be the final year for the M2M program in Riverside Park. A new location will be announced next year. M2M is on view from 59th Street to 72nd Street, along the waterfront, and will run through May 2017, with an additional sculpture on view later this month in Van Cortlandt Park.
1. Morphous Arrives at Union Square Park
The Union Square Partnership, in collaboration with Cynthia-Reeves Gallery and New York City Parks (Art in the Parks Program) installed South African artist Lionel Smit’s sculpture, Morphous, at 15th Street and Union Square East in celebration of the Partnership’s 40th anniversary. This is Smit’s first public art installation in the United States. Smit, who was born in Pretoria, created Morphous out of his deep fascination and profound respect for the indigenous people of his country – in particular the Cape Malayan peoples. The bronze sculpture features the conjoined heads of two women gazing outward “epitomizing hybrid identity within a South African context, and reflecting the disintegrating construction of identity within our increasingly globalized world.” Since 1967, Union Square Park has displayed more than forty pieces of artwork. Morphous will be on view through April 30, 2017.
Check out several of June’s installations that are still on view or check out our Top 10 Off-the-Beaten Path Ways to Spend the 2016 4th of July Weekend. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.