Jan Palach Memorial: House of the Suicide/House of the Mother of the Suicide, 2016 currently adjacent to Cooper Square Park at 7 East 7th Street
The month of April explores art within many of our architectural treasures, from Cooper Union’s Foundation Building (1859) to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1892) – stepping back in time to the New York Crystal Palace in 1853, to dozens of miniatures of our most iconic places. Finally, take in a view of our city today on a rooftop overlooking it all, with LOVE.
Here are twelve art installations and exhibits not to miss in April.
12. Henry Taylor Floats on The High Line
The Floaters, artist Henry Taylor. Image courtesy The High Line
High Line Art presents The Floaters, a colorful, new self-portrait, on the wall at West 22nd Street, by Los Angeles artist Henry Taylor. Taylor is known for portraits depicting people from every walk of life. The High Line mural, which measures about 30 feet by 50 feet, depicts the artist and a friend “blissed out” in a swimming pool in Palm Springs, its name, The Floaters, inspired by the 1970s Detroit R&B vocal group. The Floaters will be on view through March, 2018, adjacent to the High Line at West 22nd Street.
11. Gulliver’s Gate, A Miniature NYC, Arrives in Times Square
The much-anticipated Gulliver’s Gate will be arriving in New York this month. The exhibit will be the nation’s largest display of miniatures, and will be on view within a 49,000 square feet of space in Times Square. Spanning an entire city block, the miniatures will include such iconic landmarks as Rockefeller Center, and the New York Public Library, a detailed replica of the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal, and The Standard Hotel, including partiers on the rooftop. Viewers can even peer through windows to see replicas of the interior space.
The team is working with architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle, model train companies Walthers and Faller, Brooklyn Model Works and others for this feat. The exhibit took 358 days to create with 16 craftsmen. Gulliver’s Gate will open on April 4. The exhibit is located at 216 West 44th Street. Tickets available.
10. LOVE on the Roof of The James Hotel
LOVE by Laura Kimpton atop the James Hotel. Photo by Peter Ruprecht
The roof of the James Hotel is filled with LOVE, one of Laura Kimpton’s monumental word sculpture pieces which were widely photographed at Burning Man. The collection included words like “BELIEVE”, “LIVE”, “EGO”, and “DREAM.” LOVE made its way to New York, landing at Omar’s on West 9th Street, and as luck would have it, to the roof of the James Hotel, where the Freedom Tower is a fitting backdrop to the large brightly colored sculpture piece.
9. Cooper Union Exhibits the Works of John Hejduk
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is presenting the exhibit, John Hejduk Works. The exhibition highlights seven built works designed by architect, John Hejduk (1929-2000), founding dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. Included in the exhibit are 43 photographs by Helene Binet, Hejduk’s photographer of record, which explore both permanent and temporary built works including the Berlin Tower, one of his largest built works; the cubist inspired Wall House II; and the Jan Palach Memorial, which was unveiled in January 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.
In addition, there will be two Hejduk-designed public structures, as part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT) installed in Cooper Square Park, which will be on view through June 11, 2017. The Cooper Square Park sculptures, entitled House of the Suicide and House of the Mother of the Suicide, the Jan Palach Memorial, honors the Czech dissident as a “galvanizing force against the communist government in power at the time (1968).” This work has been reassembled in front of The Cooper Union’s Foundation Building, from the original materials fabricated by Georgia Tech students in 1990.
It is worth noting that Hejduk renovated the Foundation Building’s interior (1971-1974), which is his most significant work of architecture in the United States. John Hejduk began teaching at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in 1964, and became the Head of the Department of Architecture in 1965. He was named Dean and Professor of the School of Architecture in 1975, and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2000. The exhibit will be on view in the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, located at 7 East 7th Street, second floor, to July 30, 2017.
8. The Fund for Park Avenue’s Spring Installation
Spanish artist, Lluis Lleo, has created a series of five sandstone blocks to adorn the Park Avenue medians this season. The twenty-foot tall by six-foot wide “monolithic” blocks will have geometric shapes painted on each side, and will be installed on the Park Avenue malls between 52nd and 56th Streets. Lleo, who is based in New York, is self-funding this installation. The works are scheduled to be installed later this month, and will remain on view through the summer.
7. The Roof Floats Among the Palms at Brookfield Place
The artist Pinaree Sanpitak was commissioned to create a site-specific sculpture entitled The Roof for Brookfield Place. The installation is a suspended sculpture in the Winter Garden, celebrating collaboration and coexistence. The translucent canopies, made from raw silk, glass fiber, non-woven fabric, wires, hooks, chains, and aluminum modular truss, create a temporary roof floating above the palms, giving the viewer a sense of comfort and refuge in the otherwise bustling space. The Roof will be on view from April 19 to July 5, 2017 at Brookfield Place, located at 230 Vesey Street.
6. The Sound of Ikebana is the Midnight Moment for April
One of the many images from “Sound of Ikebana” by artist Naoko Tosa, Midnight Moment at Times Square Arts
In partnership with the Japan Society Gallery, Times Square Arts presents Sound of Ikebana on the Times Square electronic billboards from 11:57 pm to midnight, every night in April. The installation is designed to express Japan’s four seasons, with splashes of color moving across huge screens in slow motion, along with sound vibrations.
The combination of sound and color evoke the art of Ikebana, or a Japanese flower arrangement, with the colors inspired by Spring images like apricot flowers and cherry blossoms – with a touch of white and gold, representing the Japanese New Year. The slow-motion footage is filmed at 2,000 frames per second and combines cutting-edge technology with traditional Japanese culture and history. Sound of Ikebana (Spring), a digital art exhibition, will be on view from April 1 to April 30, 2017.
5. New York Crystal Palace 1853 Exhibit at Bard Graduate Center
John Bachman, Birds Eye View of the New York Crystal Palace and Environs, 1853. Hand-colored lithograph. Image via The Museum of the City of New York via Bard Graduate Center
The New York Crystal Palace opened in 1853, located between 40th and 42nd Streets, facing Sixth Avenue on what is now Bryant Park. This cast-iron structure housed the first World’s Fair, and became our city’s first tourist attraction, as well as a showcase for a vast array of consumer goods. This month, Bard Graduate Center will take viewers inside this piece of New York history, with the exhibit New York Crystal Palace 1853.
The exhibit will bring to life the experience of going to the fair through digital interactives, audio tours, images, and objects offering an approximation of the fair itself. On view will be the latest technological advancements at that time, which included advances in printing and photography, and salt prints by John Adams Whipple and Victor Prevost. Souvenirs, guidebooks, early printed pictorial newspapers, carved furniture, decorative tableware, and one of the earliest Singer sewing machines will be on display. The Crystal Palace was short-lived, being destroyed by fire just five years after its dedication.
New York Crystal Palace 1853 is curated by David Jaffee, Professor and Head of New Media Research, until his passing this past January 20th. Associated programming includes digital publications and audio tours. The exhibit, New York Crystal Palace 1853 will be on view to July 30, 2017. Bard Graduate Center is located at 18 West 86th Street.
4. Toiletpaper Paradise on View at Cadillac House in Soho
Toiletpaper Paradise now on view at Cadillac House
If you haven’t been to Cadillac House, here’s a heads-up – it really is a Cadillac dealership. Entering the large glass front-doors, stroll down a very long row of simply gorgeous, shiny cars, inhaling the smell of new-car leather, to the end – a gallery with their latest exhibit.
Currently on view, Toiletpaper Paradise, which is an immersion into Toiletpaper Magazine‘s aesthetic, or as one of the founder’s of the magazine put it, a “metal outburst of shared ideas.” This colorful, interactive exhibit is an eclectic display from their shop. Feel free to explore – from the shower to the kitchen. Toiletpaper Paradise will be on view to April 12, 2017. Cadillac House is located at 330 Hudson Street, just south of Charlton Street.
3. 17th Century Barberini Tapestries on View at Cathedral of St. John the Divine
A collection of 17th Century Barberini tapestries, many of which were damaged in a fire at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 2001, have been completely restored, and are now on view in the exhibit, The Barberini Tapestries: Woven Monuments of Baroque Rome.
Located in three of the side chapels at the Cathedral, the exhibit consists of twelve tapestries depicting scenes from the Bible, and every-day life during that period of time. They are part of a permanent collection belonging to the Cathedral, which were donated in 1890, with the centerpiece of the exhibit is The Life of Christ tapestry set. This is the first time in several decades that the tapestries will be on view.
The Barberini Tapestries: Woven Monuments of Baroque Rome is on exhibit at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street, through June 25, 2017. A scholarly catalogue written by James G. Harper and Marlene Eidelheit accompanies the exhibit.
2. 100 Gates Coming to Staten Island and East Harlem
The 100 Gates Project began as a public art initiative on the Lower East Side in 2014. The project brought together artists and merchants, in an effort to install original murals on storefront pull-down security gates, and the goal was to paint 100 gates. The now completed, and much photographed 100 Gates Project is expanding its artistic efforts, and bringing their paint brushes to downtown Staten Island and East Harlem.
With the support of the New York City Department of Small Business Services Neighborhood 360 Grant, the goal is to install sets of 50 new murals on gates in each of these neighborhoods over the next years and a half. The project will move forward through the creative consultancy, ThoughtMatter, with the New Harlem East Merchant Association (NHEMA) as Community Partner in East Harlem, and Staten Island Arts as Community Partner in Staten Island. An Open Call for Artists and Merchants is currently live.
1. Chihuly Returning to the New York Botanical Garden
After more than ten years, Dale Chihuly is returning to the New York Botanical Garden, bringing with him approximately 20 installations, drawings, and early works. Several of the hand-blown glass sculptures were created specifically for the New York Botanical Garden and its water features. In particular, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard’s Tropical Pool, contrasting glass and the environment. This installation is a re-imaging of Chihuly’s Artpark installation, created in the summer of 1975, when he was among 40 artists invited to exhibit outdoor works in Lewiston, New York (near Niagara Falls).
In addition, Chihuly will exhibit works on paper and early works in the Mertz Library building. This will consist of drawings and paintings on paper, and a grouping of Fire Orange Baskets, evoking Northwest Coast Indian baskets. The Garden will also offer Chihuly Nights. Dale Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden will be on view from April 22 through October 29, 2017, located at 2900 Southern Blvd. in the Bronx. Tickets are on sale now. Stay tuned for the 31-foot Crystal Rose Tower, (image below) expected to arrive in Union Square this October.