September is turning into a pretty banner month for new public art installations in New York City. While the PORTAL Art Show on Governors Island might be the most anticipated, there are some great new pieces in special off-limits locations like the Green-Wood Cemetery catacombs, a military chapel on Governors Island, and a hidden art space below Chelsea Market. And in animal-related works, one large hippo has made a triumphant return to a new location, three large horses are coming to a Central Park entrance, the DUMBO DROP — a festival where thousands of souvenir elephants are released – returns for a third year, and oversized wooden birds are still all along Broadway. Street art remains a big draw in the city, with new work by JR, the comprehensive exhibition Beyond the Streets still up, along with new community sponsored work in Hudson Square.

1. PORTAL Art Show on Governors Island

Previously known as the Governors Island Art Fair, Portal: Governors Island marks the 12th annual art fair organized by the Nonprofit 4heads, Inc. on the island. The fair features a diverse range of artists from across the United States and across the world. Eight historic homes along Colonel Row will be taken over by the fair. Each artist will have an individual room, connective space or exterior green space in which to display their work in the form of an exhibit or to create an immersive installation.

Since the first Governors Island Art Fair in 2008, up to 100 artists each year have been selected through an open call and jurying process. Portal: GI will be open every Saturday and Sunday through September 29.


2. Hippo Ballerina at Flatiron Plaza

The Hippo Ballerina, a work by Danish artist Bjorn Okholm Skaarup that was previously at Dante Park across from Lincoln Center back in 2017 is now at Flatiron Plaza as part of the NYC DOT Public Art installation program. The 15-foot tall, two and a half ton Hippo is made of bronze with polychrome patina, and takes inspiration Edward Degas’s Little Dancer of Fourteen Years and Walt Disney’s FantasiaShe’s been nicknamed “Henrietta’ by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership.

On September 4th, you can join an event to welcome “Henrietta” the Hippo from 10 to 2 PM at the Partnership’s booth. Henrietta will be at Flatiron Plaza until Thanksgiving.


3. Exhibition in Green-Wood Cemetery Catacombs

From September 21 to November 17, a site-specific art installation will be inside the Green-Wood Cemetery catacombs by contemporary artist Janine Antoni. The piece, entitled “i am fertile ground” uses religious iconography “to pay homage to the body’s wisdom,” according to the cemetery, with each work enshrining a gesture. Antoni says, “I gild the active embodiment of the spirit, paying reverence to the knowledge of the boy itself, burned in muscle memory.”

The catacombs will be open to the public, for free, every Saturday and Sunday during the exhibition run with additional public programming to take place including a meditation class, film screening, and artist talk.


4. Shantell Martin’s May Room on Governors Island

Artist Shantell Martin already covered the exterior of the military chapel on Governors Island, Our Lady Star of the Sea this summer. Starting September 8th, the interior of the church will be opened up so that visitors can see a new work by the artist, The May Room. This will be the first time the public will be able to access inside the church in over 20 years. Martin will be painting the flors walls, and install custom furniture of her own design to create an immersive environment. The exhibition will be on view daily through October 31.

Our Lady Star of the Sea chapel is a former military chapel that was built in 1942 as part of an expansion of the former U.S. Army base on Governors Island. Martin’s work will be the first installation to activate the space which is located in the Island’s Historic District.


5. DUMBO DROP in Brooklyn

© 2018 Philip Greenberg courtesy DUMBO Improvement District

You know it — there’s that particular block in DUMBO, likely the most photographed block in all of Brooklyn. It’s usually overrun with tourists with selfie sticks, doing all sorts of odd poses. But on September 27th, thousands of souvenir elephants are going to be dropped from the sky in the annual DUMBO DROP. It’s part of the DUMBO Improvement District‘s third annual Washington Street block party between York and Plymouth Streets. In addition to the classic DUMBO drop, there will be a disco version with illuminated elephants in the early evening.


6. Statues for Equality on 6th Avenue

The gender balance between male and female statues in New York City is little more even now thanks to a large scale sculpture installation. Created by the husband-and-wife team of the award-winning public artists Gillie and Marc, Statues for Equality aims to remedy the fact that less than 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to females by creating ten larger than life-sized bronze sculptures of famous women from astronaut Tracy Dyson to actress Nicole Kidman. The new statues honor the important contributions women have made to society and they make their debut today, on Women’s Equality Day 2019.

Standing tall in front of RXR Realty’s 1285 Avenue of the Americas you will find bronze representations of Oprah Winfrey, P!nk, Nicole Kidman, Jane Goodall, Cate Blanchett, Tererai Trent, Janet Mock, Tracy Dyson, Cheryl Strayed and Gabby Douglas. The subjects of the statues were chosen by a public vote. Each woman is standing atop a blooming flower of her choosing which represents her personality, beyond her technical and social accomplishments. With the addition of these ten figures, the percentage of female statues in the city rises to 9%. The statues will be on display until August 2020.


7. Hudson Square Canvas Street Art

JMikal Davis aka Hellbent, keep chopping (dinosaur jr.) at 131 Varick Street Photo: Ryan Muir for the Hudson Square BID © 2019

Hudson Square Business Improvement District (BID) has launched a new public art initiative, Hudson Square Canvas, to reflect the neighborhood’s transformation from the functional Holland Tunnel entrance/exit area to a lively community. There are five large scale pieces to take in, all completed in late August.

Greg Lamarche’s “Game Inside Game” features colorful vintage letter forms on the facade of S.O.B’s that reference the neighborhood’s printing press roots. Katie Mertz has painted the columns on 161 Varick Street and the Manhattan Mini Storage at 181 Varick Street in urban hieroglyphics. Brooklyn-based artist Hellbent (aka JMikal Davis) has created a colorful blocky piece at 131 Varick Street, and Claudia Ravaschiere and Michael Moss have a colorful prism of translucent glass at Freeman Plaza East. See a map of the pieces here. The works will be on display until Summer 2020.


8. Machine Hallucinations in Hidden Art Space Under Chelsea Market

The first permanent space in New York City devoted to showing new media artworks is set to open in the historic boiler room of Chelsea Market, the former Meatpacking District headquarters of the National Biscuit Company. ARTECHOUSE will take over the previously unused 6,000-square-foot space below the main concourse and exhibit cutting-edge digital art exhibitions. The first show to open will be Machine Hallucinations, a mind-bending immersive experience by acclaimed digital artist Refik Anadol that uses artificial intelligence and photographs of New York City to tell a visual narrative. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can be among the first to experience the exhibit with a special visit on September 9th.

Anadol’s digital artwork utilizes a dataset of tens of millions of architectural images of New York City’s iconic buildings and public spaces and pulls them together to create an experiential environment that reveals hidden connections between unique moments in the city’s architectural culture and history. The space will be completely transformed and visitors will be enveloped by floor-to-ceiling images that show New York’s familiar spaces in stunning new ways. Anadol has created site-specific works for cultural landmarks around the world, but never on this grand a scale. Machine Hallucinations is the Los Angeles-based artist’s first large-scale, solo exhibition in New York.


9. Aluminum Horse Sculptures at Entrance to Central Park

Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

Public Art Fund returns with another striking installation at the entrance to Central Park. On September 11th, three whimsical aluminum equine sculptures will be on display by French artist Jean-Marie Appriou. The works, ranging in size from 16 feet tall to 16 feet long, will be inspired by the site and the history of horses here, including the gold leaf statue of William Tecumseh Sherman just across the way and the horse-drawn carriages that still ply the park and pick up at this entrance.

“Jean-Marie Appriou’s unconventional approach to sculpture is almost alchemical,” says Public Art Fund Associate Curator Daniel S. Palmer. “His craftsmanship is informed by a deep knowledge of the historical lineage of sculptors that have preceded him. At the same time, Appriou’s equine sculptures are otherworldly, evoking the silent majesty of horses with nuanced sculptural details that flicker between narrative and poetry.”


10. A Literal Group Crawling Performance

POPE.L, The Great White Way, 22 miles, 9 years, 1 street<, 2000-2009, Performance © Pope.L Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

On September 21st, over 100 participants will be part of artist Pope.L’s group crawl (yes, people literally crawling) a 1.5 mile route from Greenwich Village to Union Square, going through the Washington Square Park arch. This performance art piece is brought to the city from the Public Art Fund, building upon the artist’s previous work dragging himself across urban landscapes, in works the Fund calls “arduous, provocative, absurdist performances and interventions in public spaces.” The Public Art Fund states that “in choosing to give up their physical privilege, participants satirize their own social and political advantage, creating a comic scene of struggle and vulnerability to share with the entire community.”

The group crawl will take over five hours and the performers are selected through an open call to create a group that reflects the diversity of the city. As the Public Art Fund describes, “Participants will be organized in groups of five, with each group crawling one of the 25-block segments that comprise the route. When the first crawler in a group reaches the end of their block, they will be relieved by the first participant in the next group, forming a blocks-long relay that emphasizes the interconnectedness of all people. Participants will be encouraged to crawl in a way that challenges them most and speaks to their ability level, whether military style, hands and knees, or another variation. To further challenge participants, each will crawl with props including a blindfold and flashlight, and will be asked to crawl with one shoe, effectively emphasizing each of their personal struggles, while altering their experience as they crawl together.”


11. Stop Telling Women to Smile – Lenox Ave in Harlem

A series of display cases on Lenox Avenue and 125th Street in Harlem contain an exhibition by Brooklyn artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, a Black/Iranian visual artist who is the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ Public Artist in Residence. The series, Stop Telling Women to Smile, is a continuation of a movement started by the artist in 2012 that can be found on walls all across the world. Her artist residency here in New York City aims to “present the experiences of anti-black racism and sexual harassment experienced by New Yorkers through public art.”

Stop Telling Women to Smile showcases portraits of women on each display case, with captions on the back that speak directly to street harassment offenders. One of the cases shows actual written responses on postcards Fazlalizadeh placed in locations around the city, with questions like “What assumptions to people make about you because you are black?” and “What do you want to say back to your harassers on the street?” As Fazlalizadeh writes on the website about the project, “Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street – creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.” Fazlalizadeh also has another exhibition, Respecting Black Women and Girls in St. Albans, in Queens at the Daniel M. O’Connell Playground.


12. New Monuments for New Cities on the High Line

Photo of current exhibition on The High Line, En Plain Air

On September 26th, a new exhibition on the High Line will showcase posters from 25 artists or artist groups envisioning monuments —both possible and impossible to build— that question the role of monuments and imagine the future of the built objects. According to the High Line, these proposals include new monuments in a traditional style, revisions to historical statues, new imagined ways to commemorate, and come in many forms: “drawings, photographs, renderings, ‘missing pet’ posters, Wikipedia pages, bold text-based statements, collages, and more.”

The submissions were sourced from a process that brought the exhibition to multiple cities that have repurposed rail infrastructure — Buffalo Bayou, in Houston, Texas, Waller Creek, in Austin, Texas, The 606 in Chicago, Illinois, The Bentway in Toronto, Ontario — and each location chose five local artists or groups to create proposals.


13. Beyond the Streets

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All photos by Dan Bradica courtesy Beyond the Streets

Through September 29th, Beyond the Streets is a veritable museum of street art inside 25 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg featuring a real who’s who of graffiti. It’s an extremely comprehensive exhibition, that “explores the collective urgency of using the street as a canvas for expression.” As such, some of the artists may be associated with art movements beyond street art but are included for their impact.

Names you will have heard of include FUTURA 2000, FREEDOM, INVADER, Gordon Matta-Clark, the Beastie Boys, DAZE, Dennis Hopper, Jean-Michel Basquiat, José Parlá, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, LADY PINK, Lee Quiñones, Martha Cooper, Shepard Fairey, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Ron English, TATS CRU, and many more. Thursdays are free at Beyond the Streets to be sure to check this exhibition out before it closes!


14. JR Work at the Hudson Theater

At the back of the Hudson Theater in Times Square, you will find a recent work from JR in his signature black and white “Inside Out” project style that features some well-known faces: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge, both of whom are starring in the play “Sea Wall/A Life.” In fact, the JR did a piece there because Gyllenhaal personally asked him to, as Frances Doods of Architectural Digest reports, and the stars of the show helped paste the work up which has over 100 faces.

Gyllenhaal felt that JR’s work would be a nice tandem to the play, which often involves the audience. He tells AD that JR’s “art is messy and imperfect and demands us to look at ourselves, to forgive ourselves, to be kind with each other. It allows us to be vulnerable and feel part of a whole; it makes us feel big and loved at the same time.”


15. Climate Change Escape Room

Photo courtesy Human Impacts Institute

There will be a climate change escape room on Governors Island at the House of Solutions. Produced by the artist-in-residence group at the Human Impacts Institute, Overview Collective, the escape room is produced in partnership with the escape room company Clue Chase. The escape room takes about 15 to 20 minutes, offering puzzles and clues that relate to the OneNYC 2050: Green New Deal initiatives and cover sustainability options like solar, wind and recycling. You can register for the Climate Change escape room here!

16. IdeasCity Bronx

Photo by Nathan Kensinger

The New Museum will present IdeasCity Bronx, taking place in Concrete Plant Park on September 21st. The day long festival is free and open to the public, featuring talks by Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman and Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro, and a series of participatory workshops organized by Xaviera Simmons, Torkwase Dyson, Oscar Oliver-Didier (urban designer at the Department of City Planning), Coco June, Marquita Flowers, and Monxo López and Libertad Guerra of South Bronx Unite.

Pop-up activations by Bronx-based art and activist groups will take place all afternoon, organized with DreamYard, a nationally recognized community organization that works with Bronx youth, families, and schools to build pathways to equity through the arts.


17. Park Avenue Departure in the Park Avenue Malls

Photo by Christopher Stache

Park Avenue Departure by Alex Katz is a series of seven colorful, cut-out sculptures that, at first glance, resemble the backs of passersby that you might see while strolling down the street. But the works appear differently to the observer from different vantage points, adding an extra level of perceptive depth, similar to an optical illusion. With 200 solo exhibitions and 500 group exhibits under his belt, including appearances at the Whitney, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, and the Guggenheim, Katz’s work has become a New York classic.

Park Avenue Departure will close September 10th. The work sponsored by the Fund for Park Avenue and NYC Parks’ Art in the Park program is also co-produced by Lococo Fine Art Publisher and Kasmin Gallery.


18. New Mural at Brooklyn Wholesale Meat Market

Photo courtesy Julie Stein/NYCEDC

Groundswell NYC and NYCEDC have unveiled a new community painted street art mural entitled Making the Sun Rise at Sunset at the Brooklyn Wholesale Meat Market that stretches 2,400 square feet and is over 150 feet long. Groundswell murals incorporate community input from visioning sessions, and this mural addresses a theme on quality jobs in the industrial zone of Sunset Park. The mural is then designed by the Groundswell Mural Team, with lead artist Raul Ayala, and painted with the help of over 100 community participants. This is the second mural produced in partnership between NYCEDC and Groundswell.


19. Times Square Midnight Moment

Photo by Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Every month a new video installation takes over the screens of Times Square at midnight for Midnight Moment, the world’s longest running digital art exhibition. This month from 11:57 PM to midnight, the screens will be taken over by the animation artist Crackbunny in a work entitled Super City You depicting “New York City’s skyline overtaken by fantastically flowering plants. Seen first at their windows and then in giant form beside skyscrapers, the human residents of the city transform into superlative versions of themselves inspired by comic book heroes, monster movies, and mythological creatures. Celebrating the diverse and enriching cultural landscape of New York City, Crankbunny hopes that her flourishing characters inspire viewers to fulfill their own creative potential.”


20. Elle Peréz: From Sun to Sun on NYC’s Bus Shelters

Photo: Nicholas Knight, courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

This August, 100 bus shelters across the city will feature a series of photographs, titled From Sun to Sun by Elle Peréz, to inaugurate Public Art Fund’s new partnership with street furniture company JCDecaux. This collaboration with the JCDecaux exhibition series further extends Public Art Fund’s history of transforming the city’s advertising spaces, with the intent to showcase photographers in the public realm. In June, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and WorldPride, Public Art Fund re-installed a piece it put up for the 20th anniversary of the uprising — Untitled, a black and white billboard created by Cuban-born artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres at Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village, above Village Cigars and across from the historic Stonewall Inn bar, where it first appeared in 1989.

The featured photographs in the bus shelter installation are a continuation of Peréz exploration of representation, identity and heritage of her Puerto Rican community in the Bronx. They often reveal intimate everyday moments highlighting the beauty of the individual in connection to their environment, and highlight the relationship between people and places. Public Art Fund Assistant Curator Katerina Stathopoulou explains that from sun to sun is a chance to exhibit Perez’s photography “within the diverse communities where the images were made, making this a deeply personal project,” and that Public Art Fund is thrilled for Peréz work “to inspire individuals to embrace points of similarity and humanity among the seemingly disparate people that comprise this city.” The works will be on view until November 24, 2019.

Next, check out the exhibitions that are still up from previous months!


21. Pavilion for Astoria in Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrate Sculpture Park in Queens is a great place to take in art and the views of Manhattan along the East River. A new large-scale work is in process by artist Rafael Domenech. Las Palabras son Muros [Pavilion for Astoria] (The Words are Walls [Pavilion for Astoria]) is made of scaffolding and construction mesh, with “pages” hanging that show graphically dynamic laser-cut texts that rotate throughout the exhibition.

The text comes from actual visitors to the park who submit words, phrases and stories, which then get selected by a digital algorithm. You can also submit a message online at laspalabrassonmuros.info. When the 16-week exhibition is over, Domenech will make a book that will incorporate the texts.

Las Palabras son Muros [Pavilion for Astoria] will be up until November 3, 2019.


22. Evelyn Nesbit Mural in NoMad

A new mural in NoMad pays homage to the neighborhood’s past and the Gilded Age’s most infamous beauty, Evelyn Nesbit, who captivated New York City at the turn of the last century. Commissioned by the Kaufman Organization, the 97-foot tall mural was created by street artist Tristan Eaton on the side of 236 Fifth Avenue at West 27th Street in the heart of NoMad.

Nicknamed “The Gilded Lady,” the mural recalls a time when the area was the playground of the well-to-do with shops and restaurants as well as bars, bordellos, dance halls, gambling dens, and other places of entertainment. The mural incorporates a myriad of images including theatre bills, an eagle sculpture from the second Madison Square Garden, a policeman’s copper badge, and even a Tenderloin steak (a nod to an earlier name for the seedier section of the neighborhood). Dominating the mural though is the face of Evelyn Nesbit, model, muse, and show girl who was at the center of the original Trial of the Century. Read more about her here.


23. Pavilion Landing at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Photo courtesy NYC Parks

A new public art installation by Queens-based artist Yvonne Shortt, has just been unveiled in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Shortt’s immersive installation, titled Pavilion Landing, is clearly inspired by shape of the iconic New York State Pavilion (aka Tent of Tomorrow), which was painted in “American Cheese Yellow” color in 2015 as part of a restoration effort. Created in response to the theme “Flushing Meadows Corona Park: A Park for the Future,” it tells the story of intergalactic children whose spaceship has landed in the park. The artist worked with park visitors to create sculptures of children out of clay, which she then cast in concrete.

Funded by the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park in collaboration with NYC Park’s Art in the Parks program, Pavilion Landing is part of an effort to bring contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks. The goal of the program, as announced by NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, is to “promote the less frequented core of our parks and support local artists.”  Pavilion Landing can be found at the 111th Street and 49th Avenue Park entrance, located on the lawn alongside David Dinkins Circle. It will be on display until June 2020.

Visit this installation while on either our next tour of the Remnants of the World’s Fairs or on an Untapped Insiders special visit inside the Queens Museum with the new President of the museum.


24. NYC Health + Hospitals’ Community Murals Project

Photo of a mural designed by Keith Haring in 1986. A NYC Health + Hospitals facility has not received a mural since then. Photo: NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull

In 1986, Keith Haring designed a mural for Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, but no NYC Health + Hospitals facility has received a mural since then. That is changing this month, as NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine program embarks on a community-based mural projects across New York City with nine selected artists. The process is expected to be completed by the end of December 2019. These collaborations between artists, patients, staff, and local community residents are intended not just to promote the work of local artists, but to also build trust and engagement between hospitals and their communities.

Supported by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the murals will be created both inside and outside NYC Health + Hospital facilities. Eric Wei, MD, MBA, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals, and Chair of the Art Advisory Council, has in particular emphasized how “it is clear from decades of research that arts promote healing in many important ways.” The idea for the collaborative mural process was developed in the belief that art would be more than just an installation, and that the art would also promote healing and create emotionally nourishing spaces.

The artists and their assigned NYC Health + Hospital facilities are: Patricia Cazorla & Nancy Saleme (Bellevue Hospital), Peach Tao (McKinney Hospital), Yvonne Shortt (NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens), Carla Torres (NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx), Oscar Lett (NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County), Kelie Bowman (NYC Health Hospitals/Coney Island), Priscilla de Carvalho (NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Hospital), and Sophia Chizuco (NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter Hospital).


25. NYBG Has Largest Exhibition Ever

Photo courtesy New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden is celebrating the legacy of famous Brazilian artist Roberto Burle Marx with one of its most immersive experiences yet: a combination museum, landscape, and performance collection. For the duration of the 2019 summer season, visitors to the botanical garden can expect more than just beautiful foliage but also a breathtaking tribute to Brazil, which combines the art and landscape of Burle Marx with traditional song and dance.

Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx, is open through September 29, 2019


26. Carmen Herrera: Estructuras Monumentales

Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

Estructuras Monumentales is a current exhibition in City Hall Park  composed of five aluminum sculptures. It is designed by Cuban-born, New York based artist Carmen Herrera, and presented by Public Art Fund in celebration of her first major outdoor exhibition of sculptures. These works are to enliven City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan, where three new sculptures based on historic designs and two sculptures never before seen in the United States will be revealed.

Herrera’s Estructuras series was originally conceived in the 1960s, and featured bold monochromatic colors that are to complement the civic environment. According to Public Art Fund Associate Curator, Daniel S. Palmer, the series “will harmonize with the natural surroundings of this civic setting – City Hall Park serves as the ideal environment for this important exhibition in Herrera’s long career.”

Estructuras Monumentales will be on view from July 11 to November 8, 2019 in Lower Manhattan’s City Hall Park.


27. The Nautilus at Seaport District

Located in the Seaport District of Lower Manhattan, this large-scale public art installation, a symmetric cluster of 95 interactive poles, comes alive under the direct touch of its viewers. It is a product of the collaboration between Lincoln and Atlantic Re:think, and is born from the mission of inviting passive viewers to engage with the art through sensory interaction and see it respond. The electrical field around the poles, like a touchscreen, can sense a hand’s touch and answer to it. Once activated, the poles light up and play a personalized melody.

Despite of–or perhaps because of being enabled by technology–this installation by the waterfront aspires to creating an experience that is inherently human. The Nautilus will be on view at Pier 17 in New York City’s Seaport District until September 10, 2019.


28. Seascape Sculptures at Seaport District

In South Street Seaport of Lower Manhattan, sculptures of kelp and coral formations created by Wade and Leta have been installed. Splashed with bright colors and replicating the inventive and organic forms of the ocean vegetation the title refers to, they make a vivid and playful addition to this summer’s assortment of public sculptures in the city.

Seascape Sculptures are located on the cobblestones at Fulton and Front streets, and are inspired by the historic ships docked nearby at Pier 16. The Seascape Sculptures will be on display until September 2019.


29. Bowery Wall Mural by Queen Andrea

A changing of the guard has taken place in the Bowery. The Bowery Mural Wall, which was most recently covered in a colorful homage to the Lower East Sid by Bronx-based Tats Cru, will next be painted by Queen Andrea. Queen Andrea, or Andrea Von Bujduss, is an artist and professional graphic designer who started working on her Bowery mural in the end of May. She is known for using super bright colors and and fun bubbly text in her work.

The Houston Bowery Wall has been a canvas for great art since the 1970s when Keith Haring painted a mural there. In the ensuing decades a variety of artists have been commissioned to leave their creative mark on the wall. Previous works featured on the wall include an anti-gun piece by world-renowned artist JR and a protest piece by Banksy.


30. Simone Leigh: Brick House on The High Line

Simone Leigh, Brick House, 2019. A High Line Plinth commission. On view June 2019 – September 2020. Photo by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy the High Line

For about two months, Simone Leigh’s Brick House has been admired from afar as it loomed over 10th avenue. This month, visitors can get an up close look at the giant sculpture when the Spur, the newest section of the High Line opened on June 5th. It is the first sculpture to be displayed in the new space, which will host a series of rotating exhibits.

Brick House, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman. Her head is adorned with an afro and cornrow braids along her hairline. The figure sits atop the Plinth, a new exhibition space at on the plaza of the Spur. Brick House is the first work in the series Anatomy of Architecture by Simone Leigh. The series of sculptures will intermingle architectural forms from West Africa to the American South with the human body.

Brick House will be up until September 2020.


31. Poetry Jukebox

A new poetry jukebox has popped up outside Howl! Happening, a gallery, performance space and archive in the East Village, and Extra Place, where it was located in 2017. The poetry jukebox is loaded with poems by writers like Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, Hettie Jones, Margaret Randall and more.

The poetry jukebox first appeared at the Howl! Festival 2017 where coffeehouse owners from the Czech Republic introduced the funky speaker as part of an installation. The over two dozen poems were curated by Bob Holman and BC Edwards and represent a collective response to social justice.


32. Superstorm at Duarte Square Park

A new sculpture in Duarte Square Park commemorates one of the most intense natural disasters New York City has faced. Inspired by the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, Robert Lobe’s sculpture takes the shape of the storm’s wreckage. Superstorm is made up of hammered metal in the shape of a tree and boulder that were blown apart during the storm. The form was captured by actually taking a cast of the tree and boulder in the forest.

The tree once stood in the forest along the Appalachian Trail in Northwest New Jersey at Harmony Ridge Farm and Campground. During the storm, the tree was blown over and Lobe said “it had become a majestic horizontal sculpture with a flat circular root pattern spiraling vertically into the air, evidence of the shallow yin and yang sloping surface of its former boulder home.” The art piece shows “the unfriendly side of nature” and how superstorms are becoming a more intense and frequent problem as our climate changes. Superstorm can be found at the intersection of Avenue of the Americas and Canal Street until June, 2020.


33. Alicja Kwade: Parapivot at the MET Roof Garden

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Commission has a new work for the seasonParapivotby Alicja Kwade is a duo of works made out of steel and stone to capture a miniature solar system. Kwade is a Berlin-based artist who seeks to “heighten both the mystery and absurdity of the human condition in order to enhance our powers of self-reflection.”

This piece will be on display on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden until October 27, 2019. Parapivot is Kwade’s first solo exhibition at a museum in the United States.


34. En Plein Air at the High Line

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“En plein air” refers to the 19th century practice of painting outdoors, something inspired by, and a reaction to, the extreme changes happening in urban areas during the Industrial Revolution. The High Line, being a remnant of New York City’s industrial era, is the perfect place to reexamine and re-explore the tradition of outdoor painting, and with the involvement of several international artists, En Plein Air is an annual installation that challenges conventional sculptures and murals with freestanding, outdoor paintings that explore and restructure the relationship between art, nature and the modern urban city.

The first work above at 20th Street is by Firelei Báez, she depicts a Haitian Sans-Souci Palace ruin that looks like it is collapsing into the High Line. As High Line Arts describes, “In this ongoing body of work, Báez examines incarnations of Sanssouci: the 18th century Rococo palace built by Frederick the Great, the palace of Haitian Revolution leader and proclaimed first King of Haiti Henri Christophe, and Haitian revolution leader Jean-Baptiste Sans Souci, who was assassinated by Henri Christophe.” The second work, a series of four resign paintings, above is by Ryan Sullivan, embedded into the rail lines and plantings at 29th Street.

At 26th Street. Japanese artist Ei Arakawa has created two LED light paintings of fish, an interpretation of French painter Gustave Courbet’s 1872 and 1873 paintings, both titled La truite (The Trout). Other works include hundreds of striped flags at the Western Rail Yards by French artist Daniel Buren (known for his columns at the Palais Royal in Paris), ceramic archways by American artist Sam Falls embedded with fossilized plants from the High Line, life-size portraits on reclaimed doors from Georgian townhouses by Tanzanian artist Lubaina Himid, a large-scale sculpture at The Spur by Lara Schnitger, and a series of unstretched canvases inspired by an artist Vivian Suter Argentian home greet visitors at the southern edge of the park.

En Plein Air will be on display at several locations on the High Line from April 19, 2019 to March 30, 2020.


35. Nicolas Holiber: Birds on Broadway, Audubon Sculpture Project

In partnership with New York City Audubon, Broadway Mall Association, New York City Parks Department, and Gitler & Gallery, artist Nicolas Holiber presents, “Nicolas Holiber: Birds on Broadway, Audubon Sculpture Project”. The National Audubon Society posted its Birds & Climate Change Report in September 2014, which cautioned that half of all North American bird species will be endangered over the coming decades as a result of global warming.

Artist Nicolas Holiber chose 12 out of the 145 species of birds that reside in New York City to include in the Audubon Sculpture Project. The twelve sculptures will be made out of reclaimed wood sourced from the city itself and located between 64th and 157th Streets. The project seeks to bring “attention to the plight of birds threatened by climate change while simultaneously bringing beauty to the urban landscape.” This installation will on display until January 2020.


36. Ruth Ewan’s Silent Agitator on the High Line

Ruth Ewan’s large-scale, double-sided clock, visible from the street, is based on the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) labor union’s illustrations; the clock was once one of the many images used on “stickerettes,” otherwise known as “silent gators,” and distributed by union members as they travelled from job to job. The clock was an homage to the round-the-clock work of the union, as well as a callout to factory owners and how they divided public and private time. Ruth Ewan’s work now serves as a call to action for today’s labor struggles and the fight for diminishing labor rights, including the five-day work week and eight-hour work day.

Ruth Ewan’s Silent Agitator is the artist’s first public installation in the United States and will be on display on the High Line Park at 24th Street from April 3, 2019 to March 31, 2020.


37. Bridge Over Tree at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Siah Armajani, Bridge Over Tree, 2019, photograph by Timothy Schenck, courtesy Public Art Fund, NY

Siah Armajani’s public art installation Bridge Over Tree debuted at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 1970. Nearly fifty years later, the piece will be on display again in a re-staging at Brooklyn Bridge Park starting February 20th. The piece blurs the line between art and architecture, as does most of Armajani’s work which consist largely of outdoor structures. Bridge Over Tree is a 91-foot-long walkway with a shingled roof and stairs at the middle that arch over a small tree. The piece, presented by the Public Art Fund, will be installed between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges on the Empire Fulton Ferry lawn. Bridge Over Tree is the only outdoor piece associated with Siah Armajani: Follow This Line, a new retrospective exhibit of Armajani’s career at the Met Breuer.

The installation will be up until September 29, 2019.


38. Holocaust-era Freight Car Installation at Museum of Jewish Heritage

In Battery City Park at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, an actual artifact from the early twentieth century is now on display. This freight car is not a replica and was actually used by the German National Railway during World War II to transport soldiers, prisoners of war, and then Jews to killing centers.

The freight car is an element of the upcoming exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. will be on view until January 3, 2020 and include over 700 artifacts from World War II never before seen in the United States.


39. City in the Grass at Madison Square Park

To mark the 38th commission of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York-based artist Leonardo Drew was chosen to create a monumental installation on the park’s Oval Lawn. Drew’s City in the Grass will present a topographical view of an abstract cityscape atop a multi-patterned, undulating and layered panorama. The installation stretches 100 feet long.

City in the Grass is made of varied materials that spread across the lawn and, at various points, ascend into tall rising towers. The sculptures are set in a patterned surface that mimics Persian carpet designs and reflects the artist’s interest in East Asian decorative traditions and global design. The sculpture mixes domestic and urban motifs, spurring viewers to contemplate our relationship to the city we will in. City in the Grass will be on view from June 3, 2019, through December 15, 2019.


40. Rigged? in MacDonald Park

Photo courtesy of Yvonne Shortt

Rabbits are invading MacDonald Park in Forest Hills, Queens. Forest Hills resident and artist Artist Yvonne Shortt worked with her studio team and students from York College, Queens College, International High School of Health Sciences, and Academy of American Studies to cast and paint clay sculpted bunnies for her new installation Rigged?. The installation is a maze with stairs and windows that the bunnies are trying to navigate to get to the bunch of carrots on the top level.

A sign on each level leads to the next staircase, until the level just before the top. It is impossible to complete the maze. In a secret entrance at the bottom of the piece, one rabbit hoards a stash of carrots. The rabbit maze is a commentary on the social, economic, and political system. It will be on display from July 10th, 2019 through July, 2020.

41. Art in Concrete Plant Park

Photo courtesy Sohhee Oh, via NYC Parks

A relatively new NYC Parks Art in the Parks installation is up in Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx. Artists Sohhee Oh, Lovie Pignata, and Moses Ros have created a three connected works: a long bench of painted concrete blocks that reference native plants from the Bronx River Foodway, geometric concrete pavers that are inspired by Bronx’ original native dwellers, the Mohegans, along with its current diverse population and colorful flags at the entrances of the a park that were designed in conjunction with the local community.

Concrete Plant Park was previously a location for Swale, the foragable floating food forest. The installation will be up until September 27, 2019.

42. Subliminal Standard by Harold Ancart at Cadman Plaza Park

Harold Ancart, Subliminal Standard at Cadman Plaza Park presented by Public Art Fund, 2019. Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

In May The Public Art Fund unveiled Subliminal Standard, an interactive commission by Belgian artist Harold Ancart. Set up in the northern end of the Cadman Plaza Park in BrooklynSubliminal Standard is a large painted concrete sculpture inspired by the handball courts made popular in the 1900s by U.S. immigrants. The installation will be a place of play and interaction, inviting the viewers to immerse themselves in the piece and consider the relationship between handball courts, playgrounds and abstraction.

Subliminal Standard is Ancart’s first public art commission in the United States, and will be on display until March 1, 2020.

Next, check out our upcoming tours to explore more of New York City!

3 thoughts on “20 New Public Art Installations Not to Miss This September 2019

  1. I must mention that Woodhull Hospital is NOT in Queens, but very definitely located in the the Borough of Brooklyn!

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