Nari Ward, ‘G.O.A.T.s,’’Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again,’ 2017, Courtesy the Artist and Socrates Sculpture Park, Image by Nicholas Knight.
The month of May is filled with color, from the blooming of cherry blossoms, to a host of ambitious outdoor art installations, that take viewers from parks to rooftops. This month, Chihuly returned to the New York Botanical Garden, and an exhibit on goats grazes throughout Socrates Sculpture Park. The Public Art Fund continues its 40th anniversary celebration with the mesmerizing installation, Descension, by Anish Kapoor, and the city enjoys a host of installations associated with NYCxDesign. This month’s installations are spectacular in size, from large to miniature.
Here are 14 art installations not to miss in the month of May in New York City:
14. Jeff Koons’ Seated Ballerina at Rockefeller Center
Artist Jeff Koons is most renowned for his oversized Balloon Dog, a structure made of stainless steel that looks like a mylar balloon. With Seated Ballerina, now at Rockefeller Center, Koons’ takes the exact opposite approach: an inflated balloon that looks like metal. The 45 foot tall sculpture is a collaboration with Art Production Fund and the beauty brand Kiehl’s and is a benefit for the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a cause close to Koons, whose ex-wife abducted his son.
Seated Ballerina will be up until June 2nd. A limited edition Jeff Koons Tin is on sale at Kiehl’s, which will donate up to $100,000 of the proceeds to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children,
13. Descension by Anish Kapoor at Brooklyn Bridge Park
As part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Public Art Fund, the London-based artist, Anish Kapoor, will install his exhibit entitled, Descension, at Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park. Kapoor’s interest in the sculptural potential of water led to the creation of this site-specific installation, which measures 26 feet in diameter. The liquid mass converges in the center – creating a mesmerizing, continuous water spiral, funneling into a black hole. The installation, Descension, has traveled the globe, however this is the first time it will be seen in North America.
Associated with this installation will be Spring 2017 Talks at The New School on May 3rd. Descension, which is also part of this years NYCxDesign, will be on view from May 3 to September 10, 2017 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1.
12. Chihuly Returns to The New York Botanical Garden
Dale Chihuly returns to The New York Botanical Garden after ten years, with more than twenty magnificent glass creations, indoors and out, that augment this National Historic Landmark. Many of the glass sculptures are site-specific, and are interspersed throughout the park, from the Native Plant Garden to the Haupt Conservatory. Included in the installation are drawings, paintings on paper, and early Chihuly works, such as his 1977 Fire Orange Baskets Series, which will be on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building. Two paintings of his most recognizable projects, Palazzo Ducale Tower and Chihuly Over Venice, 1996, will also be on view in the Library.
Special programming associated with the installation will include a Plein-Air Invitational, Summer Solstice Celebration, Chillin with Chihuly – a relaxing day of live acoustic guitar, flame work demonstrations, and the summer concert series, Jazz & Chihuly. In addition to viewing the stunning works of Chihuly by day, the Garden will offer Chihuly Nights – a spectacular view of this installation, illuminated, along with a rotating lineup of performing artists and musicians. Chihuly Nights will be held on specific dates, and require tickets.
Check out the NYBG Chihuly Interactive Guide on your smartphone, and the NYBG website for additional events. The exhibit, Chihuly, will be on view to October 29, 2017 at The New York Botanical Garden, located at 2900 Southern Boulevard, in the Bronx.
11. The Theater of Disappearance on the Roof Garden at The Met Museum
This season, The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents the work of Argentinian artist, Villar Rojas in the installation The Theater of Disappearance on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The ambitious site-specific installation runs throughout the entire roof garden, with 16 black and white sculptures conceived from the Met Museum’s own museum catalog, using advanced imaging to digitally scan and create 3-D models of the objects. The end result is a mix of the models of ancient treasures, and models of staff members and their families, incorporated into a dramatic installation augmented by furniture and an expanded pergola near the bar area.
The Theater of Disappearance will be on view through October 29, 2017 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden, located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, 82nd to 83rd Streets.
10. Nari Ward: G.O.A.T. at Socrates Sculpture Park
Nari Ward, ‘G.O.A.T.s,’’Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again,’ 2017, Courtesy the Artist and Socrates Sculpture Park, Image by Nicholas Knight.
How does hubris affect human identity and the environment? Nari Ward explores this topic in his solo exhibition, Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again. The exhibition, which is Socrates Sculpture Park‘s first presentation of a single artist in its history, consists of six artworks created on site. G.O.A.T. (an acronym for Greatest of All Time) will bring to the garden a flock of goats, cast from lawn ornaments, made of concrete, sand, fiberglass, pigment, rebar and mixed media. They will measure 32″ x 10″ x 72″ each.
The visual anchor of the exhibit will be the huge signage which reads Apollo/Poll, with the letters A & O in Apollo blinking on and off (spelling out poll, and the red neon letters similar to the Apollo Theater in Harlem). It is created from steel, wood, vinyl, LED lights, and measures 12 x 4 x 30 feet. The sculpture Scapegoat is created from steel, wood, concrete, tire tread, fire hose, and will measure 40 x 12 x 12 feet. The Bipartition Bell was created with steel, wood copper and a goat bell, and will measure 11 x 3 x 14 feet. Shun-Light was created from steel, wood, glass bottles, tar, aluminum paint, and lights. It will measure 11 x 11 x 14 feet. Finally, the Broadway Billboard (vinyl) will measure 10 x 28 feet.
The Artist, Nari Ward, was born in Jamaica and resides in New York. He most recently exhibited Smart Tree on the High Line, and participated in the group exhibit, Spots, Dots, Pips and Tiles at Hunter East Harlem Gallery.
Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again will span the five acres of the Park from April 29 to September 4, 2017. Socrates Sculpture Park is located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City.
9. Design Pavilion 2017 in Celebration of NYCxDesign
Dupont Corian Movement Bar designed by Birsel+Seck located in Times Square. Image courtesy of Design Pavilion
Design Pavilion is a five-day cultural outdoor event, which will be held in two locations in celebration of NYCxDesign. The two locations include Design Pavilion Times Square, which will serve as a public center for the city’s official design week. There will be a new Design Pavilion Market, a food and dining installation, and a performance and informational hub.
The second location is in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, at Chrystie and Forsyth Streets on the Lower East Side, which will showcase innovative and interactive exhibits, focusing on industry, with daily programming and presentations. Additional programming will include NYC Design Talks, which will explore the relationship between design and community, and the affects of design on our everyday life. The talks will take place at The Cooper Union, Parsons School of Design, and Fashion Institute of Technology. Design Pavilion will be on view from May 8 to May 22.
8. I Live Here, A Midnight Moment in Times Square
Image via Times Square Arts
This month, Times Square Arts, Midnight Moments is building on events and activities surrounding activist Jane Jacobs with the new installation I Live Here, an animation by artist Joshua Frankel from the Jane Jacobs/Robert Moses opera “A Marvelous Order.” In partnership with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and The Municipal Art Society of New York, I Live Here brings the battle between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses to visual life in animation, with a collage of photographs and film footage of Moses’ proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway, and abstract urban theories involved in the conflict. The video takes viewers on a visual tour of buildings that would have been demolished near the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway, examining preservation, progress, and human conflict.
An excerpt of A Marvelous Order will be performed at Fulton Center on June 15, 17 and 18 as part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River to River Festival. I Live Here is also part of NYCxDesign 2017. It will be on view on the big screen in Times Square from May 1 through May 31, 11:57pm to Midnight, each night.
7. Interactive Sculpture, “Exquisite Corpse”, at Putnam Triangle Plaza, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
In a joint celebration between the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), A.I.R. Gallery, and the Clinton Hill community, the interactive sculpture Exquisite Corpse by artist Fanny Allié was unveiled in April at Putnam Plaza in Clinton Hill. This site-specific sculpture brings to life residents of the neighborhood who were either born there, or lived there for more than 25 years. Allié met the locals at the plaza during a weekend event, photographed them and created larger-than-life sized, black and white portraits of each subject. The portraits are displayed on four blocks of the rotating sculpture, which frequently change as each cube shifts and turns. They measure 90″ high with a length and width of 30″ each. Four new resident portraits will be added to the sculpture every three months, capturing the energy of bodies in movement, in a changing neighborhood, opening an opportunity for dialogue among residents, new and old.
Exquisite Corpse, by artist Fanny Allié, was fabricated locally in Brooklyn. It will be on view to March, 2018 at Putnam Triangle Plaza, Fulton Street and Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Reception will take place on Monday, May 8 at 11 am.
6. A Human Pyramid in Plaza33 at Penn Station
Plaza33, the outdoor pedestrian plaza adjacent to Penn Station, is in full springtime swing, with tables and chairs replacing traffic on 33rd Street. The installation of this season’s public art sculptures has begun, with the installation of artist Jonathan Borofsky’s piece entitled Human Structures.
The colorful, interconnected and interactive figures encourage people to walk through and around them, which is in keeping with the artists’ message of “humanity connecting together to build our world.” The Plaza has a full summer schedule of music, dance and a chef-driven food hall. Plaza33 is located on the East side of 33rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, open every day from 11am to 9pm.
5. Morpho’s Nest in the Cadmium House Arrives on Park Avenue
Morpho’s Nest in the Cadmium House beginning on 52nd Street and Park Avenue
This season, The Fund for Park Avenue has chosen the New York based Spanish artist, Lluis Lleó and his site-specific installation entitled Morpho’s Nest in the Cadmium House. The canvas-like, five blocks of sandstone from Catalonia, each 13 feet tall, will be painted front and back, and will begin on the medium in front of the Seagram Building on 52nd Street, stretching to 56th Street. The installations pay tribute to the Catalan Romanic fresco tradition, and to the artists’ journey from Barcelona to New York twenty-eight years ago. The title, Morpho’s Nest in The Cadmium House references the Morpho butterfly, found in Mexico and Central and South America.
Painted on each side, blue paintings looking north on Park Avenue, and red paintings as you are looking south
The installation will be on view from May 1 to July 31, 2017. A parallel exhibition will be on view at the Instituto Cervantes of New York, 211 East 49th Street from May 5-9. Morpho’s Nest in The Cadmium House is made possible by NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program, and The Fund for Park Avenue. Collaboration with the artist include Galeria Marc Doménech (Barcelona), The Instituto Cervantes, El Institut Ramon Llull, Banc Sabadell, and Indus.
4. Flow Returning to Randall’s Island
Flow.17, the annual art exhibition at the Southern end of Randall’s Island Park will open May 6. The installations, presented by The Bronx Museum of the Arts and The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, focus on appreciation of the history and ecology of the island through artistic expression. This year’s featured artist will be Rose DeSiano, with her pieces entitled Island of Empirical Data and Other Fabrication. DeSiano’s interactive art panels use historical records, statistical data, photo archives, and government documents to explore the complexity of culturally-constructed histories.
Flow.17 will have an Opening Day on May 6 from Noon to 4pm. The installation begins at the base of the 103rd Street Bridge, on Randall’s Island and will be on view through the Summer.
3. Light Spectrum at the Lewis H. Latimer House in Queens
Light Spectrum, by artist Antonia A. Perez, is located at the Lewis H. Latimer House in Queens – a house that once belonged to inventor Lewis Howard Latimer, who played a role in patenting the light bulb and telephone. With the science of light and color in mind, the artist created an installation from discarded metal lampshade frames, welded together as a totem, and wrapped with crocheted plastic bags. Thus turning the column into a filter for natural light infused with color.
The installation is presented by the Lewis H. Latimer House Museum, with support from the Queens Council on the Arts, and public funds from NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Light Spectrum will be on view to August 6, 2017.
2. Gullivers Gate, A Miniature World, in NYC
The spectacular $40 million, 49,000 square foot exhibit Gulliver’s Gate is currently on view, stretching a full city block wide, and featuring 300 miniature scenes from 50 countries. The tiny buildings and historic sites will take you around the globe with such treasures as the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Rome, Big Ben in London, and oh so many miniatures of favorite places in New York from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Guggenheim Museum and 9/11 Memorial. Each model was created in 1:87 scale. To give you an idea of the vastness of the exhibit, it includes 10,000 cars and 1,000 trains.
Gulliver’s Gate ticket purchase and viewings will be at 216 West 44th Street until December 30, 2017.
1. The Roof, Floating Clouds Installed at Brookfield Place
The vast and bright space at The Winter Garden, Brookfield Place has been transformed with what appears to be floating clouds, in this site-specific installation entitled, The Roof. Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak has taken her inspiration from the canopy of palm trees set throughout the Winter Garden. The installation is a suspended sculpture, 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 cloud-like structure, floating among the palms, giving all those who pass through and linger in the Winter Garden a sense of “comfort and refuge” in the otherwise bustling space. The Roof will be on view to July 5, 2017 at Brookfield Place, located at 230 Vesey Street.
Also join the many Untapped Cities Tours during the month of May, including Art in the NYC Subway, Tour and Wine Tasting on a Rooftop Vineyard, 400 Years of History in 1 Mile. Also don’t miss one of our classic tours: Secrets of Grand Central Terminal, Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.