Fugue in B♭by Jessica Segall
The month of August sizzles with installations from Fort Tilden to Long Island City to Harlem. This month, viewers will celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service at Fort Tilden, with works by the Rockaway Artists Alliance, enjoy light shows and installations indoors and out. Celebrate the 30th anniversary year for Socrates Sculpture Park with the works of eight artists, and check out a roof installation in a new gallery in El Barrio.
New York will once again receive public artwork to add to our list of private art in public spaces on 57th Street, and prepare for a new permanent installation by the Hells Kitchen/Hudson Yards Alliance. We will check in on a few exciting new murals around town, and finally retrace our steps in Riverside Park to view Aaron Bell’s original M2M sculpture, following the controversy.
Here are our top 11 installations not to miss in August.
11. Jean Dubuffet Arrives at The Seagram Building
Jean Dubuffet’s monumental sculpture Welcome Parade is now on view on the plaza at the Seagram Building, located at 375 Park Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets through September 10, 2016.
10. Celebrating 30 Years at Socrates Sculpture Park
Concave Room for Bees, 2016 by artist Meg Webster
The exhibit LANDMARK will celebrate the 30th anniversary year for Socrates Sculpture Park. This exhibit is meant to transform the land, both physically and symbolically, playing on the fact that the land, which is now a sculpture garden, was once an industrial landfill and illegal dumping ground. In this public park, the works of eight artists explore the topic of transforming land. Below, we take a walk through just a few of the installation that make up the exhibit LANDMARK.
Concave Room for Bees by artist Meg Webster is her creation of a 70 foot-in-diameter living sculpture, consisting of more than 300 cubic yards of fertile soil, reaching five-feet high. The interior space houses plantings of flowers, herbs and shrubs for the purpose of attracting pollinating creatures. The sculpture park’s colorful chairs are also within, inviting viewers to sit and enjoy the sounds and smells of nature.
ARTPORT_making waves is the artistic group behind Cool Stories for When The Planet Gets Hot, which is an anthology of the video series held inside the shipping container. It is a compilation of art videos that address climate change, stewardship and sustainability.
ARTPORT_making waves installation, Cool Stories for When The Planet Gets Hot
In the installation, Half Moon, Abigail DeVille utilizes found materials, highlighting public neglect, decay and marginalization. Exhibiting with found materials in not new to Ms. DeVille. In a recent exhibit entitled Harlem Stories, she highlighted a landscape under the constant pressure of development and gentrification.
A salvaged piano harp is turned into an active beehive in Jessica Segall’s installation, Fugue in B♭. The piece becomes a sound installation as the bee colony interacts with the piano chords. It is also a nod to nineteenth-century Astoria, which was an industrial port and hub of piano manufacturing.Steinway & Sons is still making pianos in the neighborhood.
Fugue in B♭ by Jessica Segall
Colorful and interestingly designed seating, created by Jonathan Odom, and painted by volunteers, staff and youth participants, is scattered throughout the park. Socrates Sculpture Park also has a lively schedule of summer events that include outdoor cinema, sculpture workshops, yoga and GrowNYC Greenmarket from June through November 19. While you’re there, you can also visit the Noguchi Museum, which is across the street.
9. Robert Moses Street Art in the Rockaways
There’s a lot more to see in Rockaway! again this month. In celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service this year, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service commissioned Rockaway Artists Alliance to produce a special exhibit. Entitled Forbidden Fruit: Street Art in a National Park, the exhibit includes themes such as pollinators, which are critical to the Jamaica Bay ecosystem, and have been deeply affected by the invasive plant species that have taken root in the area since Hurricane Sandy. In addition, the exhibit will include military and aviation history of Fort Tilden and Floyd Bennett Field. Some artists have depicted events and historical figures that occurred in the Fort or impacted the area. The installations will be on view through September 5, 2016 at Fort Tilden, Rockaway.
Also don’t miss the large-scale art project in the abandoned buildings at Fort Tilden.
8. Ascension on the Corner of 36th Street and Ninth Avenue
Ascension by artist Jordan Baker-Caldwell
The corner of 36th Street and Ninth Avenue will become the permanent home to artist Jordan Baker-Caldwell‘s nine-foot tall sculpture entitled Ascension. The large tubular form, made of weathered steel, will be installed on August 9th in partnership with Hell’s Kitchen/Hudson Yards Alliance. Sitting at an odd angle, it is meant to challenge the viewer’s sense of spatial awareness, creating a quiet moment of contemplation amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Mr. Baker-Caldwell currently has a mixed-media sculpture entitled Golem on view in Marcus Garvey Park through August 31.
7. All Along the Watchtower in Marcus Garvey Park
Lady K Fever installing All Along the Watchtower
All Along the Watchtower, the latest installation by Lady K Fever, is made almost entirely of light reflective materials. Beginning along the curved staircase on the Madison Avenue side of Marcus Garvey Park, leading up to the Acropolis, and continuing along the construction fence that surrounds the site of Harlem’s historic fire watchtower. The installation continues back down the walkway on the west side of the mountain behind the Amphitheater. Viewers are encouraged to use a flash while taking photos for an extra sparkle of color.
Rendering of All Along the Watchtower leading up to the Acropolis
The opening reception on August 6th from 6-9 pm will include a walk with Lady K Fever (aka Kathleen Howie) through the All Along the Watchtower installation at dusk, and a corresponding gallery exhibit entitled Inside Out, curated by Lady K Fever and co-presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative at Health Gallery located at 24 West 120th Street. All Along the Watchtower will be on view from August 1 through August 31. While you’re in Harlem, walk over to Lenox Avenue and pick up a free map of local art installations and restaurants, located at shops and restaurants along the Lenox Avenue restaurant row.
6. Tom Burr on the Roof of Broadway 1602 Harlem
The installation “A Few Golden Moments” by artist Tom Burr
Located on the roof of Broadway 1602 Harlem Gallery‘s c.1903 firehouse in East Harlem, is an installation entitled A Few Golden Moments by artist Tom Burr. In his six-panel screen, Burr attempts to create a social relationship between object and architecture. In 2013, A Few Golden Moments graced the sculpture garden at Frieze New York, reflecting the Manhattan cityscape. In El Barrio, the piece reinvent’s itself, reflecting the local architecture and surrounding sky-line, and on the reverse side of A Few Golden Moments, the viewer will become a part of the installation through reflective mirrors.
On the ground-floor gallery space, Broadway 1602 Harlem is currently exhibiting a group show entitled 121 Street, with twelve artists including Mr. Burr’s piece Oblong Box #2. A Few Golden Moments and the exhibit 121 Street will be on view for just a few more golden moments, through August 5. Broadway 1602 Harlem is located at 211 East 121st Street.
5. #NotACrime Street Art Mural
Parisian street artist Astro for #NotACrime in Harlem
#NotACrime is the hashtag for the Education is Not A Crime Project, a campaign to bring global awareness to the issue of human rights abuses in Iran. The mural project, which began in November 2014, is designed to provoke conversation about education discrimination and human rights violations. Fifteen renowned street artists will create 15 murals in 30 days – all in Harlem – to be completed in time for the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September, when Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will be in New York.
Parisian street artist Astro recently added to the #NotACrime mural project with his wall entitled Astro’s Gate (above) on 123rd Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. In keeping with the theme of the project, he created a rendition of the gates of Tehran University in Iran, where he symbolizes a light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Unframed, Ellis Island by JR
French street artist JR Tribeca mural entitled “Unframed, Ellis Island”
French street artist JR installed a 95-foot tall mural on the side of 100 Franklin Street in Tribeca. The piece, entitled Unframed, Ellis Island, is a blown-up photograph of a group of immigrants on Ellis Island in the year 1908. You might remember that in 2014, JR placed portrait murals in abandoned hospitals on Ellis Island, and later filmed a documentary titled Ellis, featuring Robert DeNiro.
3. New Piece at the Bowery Mural by Logan Hicks
Bowery Mural Wall holds a New York Cityscape by Logan Hicks in August
Street artist, painter and photographer, Logan Hicks is the latest to create on the famed Bowery Mural Wall. His intricate New York Cityscape will consist of five layers of stencil sketching. Last week, after two days of completing two layers in the July heat, his work was destroyed by a thunderstorm, drenching the wall (to the point of crumbling) and requiring him to begin again. We will bring you his cityscape when he completes it, which is projected to be mid-August. The Bowery Mural is located at the corner of Houston Street and Bowery.
2. Flows Two Ways by Stephen Glassman at VIA 57 West
All images via designboom.com
This month the new residential building VIA 57 West, designed by the architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group, will install a Stephen Glassman piece entitled Flows Two Ways. The artwork consists of thirty-five interlocking panels, and approximately 400 pipe-clusters, creating layers which extend sixty feet across and sixty feet high. The eight story tall installation will be visible from the entrance to VIA 57 West, and is expected to be completed in August. VIA 57 West is located at 625 West 57th Street between 11th/12th Avenues.
All images via designboom.com
1. Aaron Bell Installs Original Sculpture, Stand Tall, Stand Loud, in Riverside Park
The original “Stand Tall, Stand Loud” by Aaron Bell now in place
The Art Students League Model to Monument (M2M) sculptures arrived in Riverside Park in June. Seven artists were chosen to exhibit including Aaron Bell‘s piece Stand Tall, Stand Loud. With initial hesitation by the New York City Parks Department, Bell’s sculpture was not permitted to include a noose at the top, and was installed instead with two wide open mouths, which stood for speaking up for your rights. After further consideration, it was decided that Stand Tall, Stand Loud would revert back to its original intention, and was replaced in July. On the base of his piece, these words are inscribed: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” As it now stands, overlooking the Hudson River, it has done just that – generating discussion. Mr. Bell accomplished his mission.