Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media
The arrival of 2021 brings with it exciting new art projects in New York City. Already we have celebrated the opening of the long-awaited Moynihan Train Hall which includes three new permanent public art installations, and exciting artworks have popped up in Grand Central, the Meatpacking District, the Bronx, and more. Discover the new art you can’t miss this month and installations that are still on view from 2020.
1. I dreamed a world and called it Love at Grand Central
I dreamed a world and called it Love(2020) ©Jim Hodges, NYCTransitGrandCentral-42StStation. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design. Photo by David Regen. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, NewYork and Brussels
A new permanent artwork by contemporary artist Jim Hodges has added some color to the staircase and escalator landings that connect the Grand Central-42nd Street subway station to Grand Central Terminal. I dreamed a world and called it Love is a massive mirrored-glass sculpture that builds upon Hodges’ 2016 exhibition of the same name at Gladstone Gallery. The new installation is made up of more than 5,000 individually cut pieces of glass in more than 70 colors.
The multi-colored glass pieces swirl together in a rainbow camouflage pattern of blues, greens, reds, golds, and purples. Measuring 700 square-feet in total, the mesmerizing piece forces your glance upwards as you travel between the subway and train stations. The new piece adds a pop of color and excitement to the daily commute.
2. Penn Station’s Half Century at Moynihan Train Hall
22 April 1924 and 7 August 1934, from Penn Station’s Half Century, 2020 Ceramic ink on glass. One of nine photographic panels from Penn Station’s Half Century Commissioned by Empire State Development in partnership with Public Art Fund for Moynihan Train Hall ©Stan Douglas. Courtesy of the artist, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner.
The opening of the new Moynihan Train Hall brings with it three new site-specific art installations that will be permanent features of the station. The works were created by artists Stan Douglas, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, and Kehinde Wiley. Commissioned through a partnership between Empire State Development and Public Art Fund, the pieces can be found in various spots throughout the station.
In the Ticketing Room adjacent to the Train Hall’s sunlight-filled main atrium, visitors will see Stan Douglas’ photo series, Penn Station’s Half Century. The installation consists of nine photographs that “capture the serendipity and poignancy of daily life.” Displayed on 22-foot-long wall panels around the room, Douglas’ photographs feature live actors in period costume set amongst digitally recreated interiors of the demolished Penn Station. The images pay tribute to McKim, Mead & White’s original station, which lasted from 1910 to 1963. The scenes depicted include a gathering of Communist party members in 1934, a soldier kissing his lover goodbye before being deployed during World War II, and other scenes from Penn Station’s history.
3. Bombora House by Tom Fruin at Gansevoort Plaza
Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media
Bombora House is the latest New York City installation by Brooklyn-based sculptor Tom Fruin. The colorful piece at Gansevoort Plaza takes inspiration from Fruin’s artist friends. Melinda Brown, a fellow artist, says that in her native land of Australia, “Bombora refers to a large wave with its own frequency. Surfers will wait for the bombora to roll in.” Brown adopted that name for the building she lived in on the corner of 13th Street and Ninth Avenue where artists would gather and create together.
Fruin’s own Bombora House represents the wave of cultural and architectural evolution rolling through the Meatpacking District. The tiny house-like structures are meant to also convey feelings of hope, joy, and stability. You can interact with the sculpture by sending a text message to 347-328-2636. You will get a response with more information about the sculpture or things to do in the Meatpacking District, and the sculpture will light up! Bombora House will be on view throughout the winter of 2021.
4. The Hive at Moynihan Station
Elmgreen & Dragset, The Hive, 2020, Stainless steel, aluminum, polycarbonate, LED lights, and lacquer. Commissioned by Empire State Development in partnership with Public Art Fund for Moynihan Train Hall Photo: Nicholas Knight, courtesy Empire State Development and Public Art Fund
On the ceiling above the 31st Street entrance to the new Moynihan Train Hall, the artist duo of Elmgreen & Dragset have installed a fantastical inverted cityscape. Tilted The Hive, the cityscape is inspired by iconic buildings of New York City and cities around the world. The illuminated structures hanging from the ceiling like stalactites weigh a whopping 30,000 pounds, yet appear weightless.
72,000 LEDs light up the imagined buildings, which stretch to heights of up to nine-feet tall. The sculptural piece will be one of the first things LIRR and Amtrak riders will see as they enter the new train hall inside the 1912 Farley Post Office building.
5. New York Responds at MCNY
Courtesy of the Museum of New York City
A new crowd-sourced exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, New York Responds: The First Six Months, takes a look back on 2020 and how New York City has handled all of the challenges brought by the past year. Tens of thousands of photographs, videos, and other works of art were submitted to the museum by New Yorkers across the five boroughs. Submissions were whittled down by a jury of twelve diverse New Yorkers who helped museum curators pick which pieces to include in the exhibit.
The perspectives of more than 100 New Yorkers are represented in the works on display in the exhibition. New York Responds: The First Six Months will be on view through April 11th, 2021. You can buy timed tickets for entry on the museum’s website.
6. Go at Moynihan Train Hall
© Kehinde Wiley.Anoriginal work of art commissioned by Empire State Development in partnership with Public Art Fund for Moynihan Train Hall. Photographer: Nicholas Knight. Image courtesy of the Artist, Sean Kelly, New York, Empire State Development and Public Art Fund, NY
As you enter Moynihan Train Hall at the 33rd Street Midblock entrance, look up to see Kehinde Wiley’s new artwork, Go. The site-specific installation is a backlit, hand-painted, stained-glass triptych inspired by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s 18th-century ceiling frescoes. The painting reimagines decorative Renaissance and Baroque paintings and gives the style a modern twist.
Wiley’s fresco features young, Black New Yorkers in breakdance poses floating amongst a sky filled with clouds, pigeons, and a jet plane. Rather than wearing tunics and robes like the subjects in classical frescoes, Wiley’s subjects are in sneakers, crop tops, and hoodies. Mixing elements from modern-day New York City with the 18th-century painting style creates a “surrealist dreamscape that advances a narrative of buoyancy, possibility, and survival.”
7. Viewfinder at the South Street Seaport
Jane Kratochvil on behalf of The Howard Hughes Corporation
The works of New York City and Los Angeles-based artists merge at the South Street Seaport in Viewfinder, a photography exhibit presented by the Seaport District in partnership with Manual Photo. In various locations throughout the Seaport District, visitors will see photographs that showcase how 2020 has “made way for deep perspective and moments of clarity,” while also being one of the most challenging years we’ve ever had to face.
What makes this photography exhibit unique is that it is best viewed at night. The photographs displayed in Seaport District shop windows are backlit. Each image provides a glimpse into pivotal moments in the artists’ own personal journeys. Viewfinder is curated by Dylan Warmack and will be on display through January 31st, 2021. You can learn the story behind each photo here!
8. SOAR on Fulton Street in Brooklyn
Image Courtesy of ArtBridge
Voodo Fé‘s new Brooklyn mural depicts a vibrantly colored eagle in flight. SOAR, presented by ArtBridge, is a 20foot-wide mural on construction fencing in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, at the interception of Fulton and Downing Streets. The hand-painted piece is meant to “depict the diversity of the world, inspiring us to rise above all odds.” A sign that accompanies the mural states that the image of the eagle is “a great representation of how through all, the good, bad, and ugly – we continue to ‘SOAR.'”
Voodo Fé, a well-known local figure in the Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy neighborhoods, used bright colors in his mural to lift and inspire his community. He hopes that the mural will spread the healing effect of art which he shares at The Spot, his art space on 572 Myrtle Avenue. SOAR is part of the City Canvas pilot program, an initiative of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs that adds temporary visual art to sidewalk sheds and construction fences throughout New York City.
9. Times Square Midnight Moment
Daniel Crooks. The Subtle Knife (still). Courtesy of the artist.
January’s Midnight Moment in Times Square was created by artist Daniel Crooks. Titled The Subtle Knife, Crook’s video work will light up the billboards of Times Square every night of the month from 11:57pm to midnight. Presented in partnership with Asia Society, The Subtle Knife marks the inaugural Asia Society Triennial, on view at select locations in New York City through June 27, 2021.
The Subtle Knife “explores the relationship between transportation and the moving image, while taking the viewer on a contemplative journey through time and space.” Crooks takes viewers on a journey through a never-ending series of train tracks as you catch glimpses of new destinations. “As with much of my work, I hope the audience is transported for a moment to a place where the world is less concrete, where the models we have in our heads of what is real become slightly less fixed, where our concepts of time become much more fluid,” Crooks says of the first Midnight Moment presentation of 2021.
10. Jim Rennert Sculptures at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
Photo Courtesy of Jim Rennert/Cavalier Galleries
Five monumental sculptures by artist Jim Rennert, all standing over 12.5-feet tall, have been installed in the Theater District and Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. The pieces belong to two collections by Rennert, Walking the Tightrope and WTF. Rennert’s work explores the physical and psychological challenges of the competitive corporate world.
“As an entrepreneur, whether dealing with employer’s products, home life or working our way up the corporate ladder, the visual juxtaposed figure on a tightrope is something that resonates with us all,” said Jim Rennert in a press statement. You can find see Walking the Tightrope and WTF at the entrance to 1700 Broadway and will be on display through 2022. Rennert’s three other sculptures, Timing, Inner Dialogue and Commute are located at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza on East 47th Street and can be viewed through August 2021. Keep reading to see what installations from past months are still on display!
11. Mundillo at West Farms Square Plaza
Samantha Holmes, Mundillo (Little World), 2020, Steel, 14 x 8 x 10 feet, Commissioned by the Bronx River Arts Center and the NYC Department of Transportation, as part of its Arts Community Commissions series. Courtesy of JHB Gallery
At West Farms Square Plaza in the Bronx, artist Samantha Holmes has crafted a giant steel sculpture that looks dainty, but is strong and resilient. The painted steel sculpture, tilted Mundillo (Little World), is a “monument to women’s work and the cultural dynamism of the Bronx.” Holmes takes inspiration from the patterns of traditional Puerto Rican lacework to represent softness, while the steel show strength.
Openings in the sculpture’s lace-like surface allow it to seemingly weave into the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood, as those holes are filled with the colors and sights of the neighborhood. Holmes’ sculpture was commissioned by the Bronx River Arts Center and the NYC Department of Transportation, as part of its Arts Community Commissions series. The piece will be on view adjacent to the East Tremont Avenue subway station through September 2021.
12. Art on the Avenue
Artwork installed Columbus Ave. From Left to Right: Roofgolf and LoveHate Relationship by Joel Tretin, We the People by Lance Johnson, Reflections of Change by Geoffrey Doig Marx (GDM), Happiness During Protests by Katie Godowski, and Owen by Deb Fong
Throughout the month of January, you can take an art-filled stroll along Columbus Avenue in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Art on the Avenue, is a public initiative started by local teachers. The organization is dedicated to elevating local artists and inspiring community engagement. To do so, the organization displays the work of local artists in vacant storefronts along Columbus Avenue.
Current artworks can be found between 68th and 77th street on Columbus Ave, with the majority concentrated between 74th and 77th. Check out a map of locations with art on display here! All donations sent to Arts on the Avenue go towards funding installation expenses, as well as promotional materials. The art will be on display through the end of January 2021.
13. LIGHT YEAR
Photo by Julienne Schaer
Socially distant winter video art installation Light Year returns to Dumbo this month. Some of the largest outdoor video art installations in New York City will be projected on the Manhattan Bridge each first Thursday of the month from dusk to 10pm at dimensions of 65 by 40 feet. The full installations are approximately 30 minutes in length, and on December 3rd, the first installation, ”Thresholds and Beyond 1”, will show the places where disparate realities meet, overlap and create hybrid realities.
You can also stream the installations on Facebook Live from 2pm to 10pm on the scheduled projection day, and at dusk, the works can also be viewed online in real time from the projection site also on Facebook.
14. The Max Murals
Photo Courtesy of karlssonwilker
A team of painters from ArtFX Murals who specialize in large, exterior high-rise work are unveiling one of the largest murals in New York City at The Max, TF Cornerstone’s apartment complex in Hell’s Kitchen. The design makes use of both micro and macro views for onlookers. Perspective plays a strong role in the design – different points of view result in different standpoints and interpretations of the mural, which are unique to the individual viewer.
In the works since 2016, this project began by exploring the rich history of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, culminating in a vision of TF Cornerstone’s evolving skyline within New York City’s historical landscape.
Photo Courtesy of the artist
Artist Alex “Rocko” Rupert’s wolf head wooden structure TimberWolf at Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn takes utilitarian materials like reclaimed lumber to beautify this corner of the park and serves as a metaphor for how everyday materials can be repurposed. It plays into the importance of resourcefulness, breathing use back into what is considered to be “used-up.” The artwork takes the form of a dog’s head, a nod to the popular nearby dog park.
At the end of the public art installation period next October, TimberWolf will be donated to another public space to be enjoyed. The possibility to be reused or repurposed with additional functionalities gives this living installation another life. The installation will be on site through October 25, 2021.
16. Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the Gods
Photo by Reiko Yanagi, courtesy of the artist
Long Island City-based sculptor, Jack Howard-Potter, makes large, often kinetic, figurative steel sculptures that can be seen in city governments, sculpture parks, and public art shows around the country. The outdoor public arena is the perfect setting for the academic roots to be easily recognizable and accessible, bridging the gap between the fine art institution and the public. It all comes together in an effort to brighten the landscape and shift one’s gaze to break the daily routine with something beautiful.
Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the Gods will be on-site at Court Square Park in Queens through September 12, 2021.
17. Floating Woman
Photo by Daniel Avila, courtesy of NYC Parks
Located in Hunter’s Point South through next September, this work is one of French sculptor Gaston Lachaise’s best-known, monumental works dating from the late 1920s. The buoyant, expansive figure represents a timeless earth goddess, one Lachaise knew and sought to capture throughout his career. This vision was inspired by his wife, who was his muse and model, Isabel, that “majestic woman” who walked by him once by the Bank of the Seine. This work is a tribute to the power of all women, dedicated to ‘Woman,’ as the artist referred to his wife, with a capital W.
Lachaise devoted himself to the human form, producing a succession of powerfully conceived nude figures in stone and bronze that reinvigorated the sculptural traditions of Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol.
18. RBG Mural
Earlier this year, the nation mourned the death of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Now, a three-story mural has gone up in the East Village in her honor. The mural will celebrate the life of the Brooklyn-born justice and trailblazing feminist. ELLE, a New York City street artist, is painting the larger-than-life portrait.
19. Mother Earth at Rockaway Beach
On August 12, a new, 35-foot-tall steel sculpture named Mother Earth was unveiled at Rockaway Beach in Queens. The installation is the brainchild of artist Kris Perry. It is a part of NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks, a program that brings both experimental and traditional pieces of artwork to public locations throughout the five boroughs.
The towering statue is made of Corten steel, a material that is meant to evolve and change with the seasons and the site. Mother Earth will be located at the Beach 98th Street entrance to Rockaway beach, two blocks away from the A-Train until August 11, 2021. Rockaway Beach is also serviced by the NYC Ferry.
20. Medusa Sculpture Across from NYC’s Criminal Courthouse
A seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Medusa was unveiled in Collect Pond Park in October, across from the New York County Criminal Court in Lower Manhattan. A collaboration between Medusa With The Head Project (MWTH) and New York City Parks, Medusa With The Head of Perseus is meant to question Medusa’s portrayal and narrative in Greek mythology and reimagine an inverted narrative.
Garbati made the original Medusa sculpture in 2008. He posted photos of it on social media in 2018, at the height of Me Too movement and the year the Argentine Senate rejected a bill that would fully decriminalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The photos went viral, and the sculpture became a symbol of resistance for women. Garbati seeks to change the traditional narrative of Medusa by portraying her in a somber moment of self-defense, holding the head of her slayer. According to the organizers of the sculpture, Medusa With The Head of Perseus has been deliberately sited across the street from the courthouse where “high profile abuse cases, including the recent Harvey Weinstein trial.”
21. Prospect Park Bandshell
Photo by David Andrako
Prospect Park Bandshell has turned into a venue for artists lately, with the unveiling of a public art project commissioned by Brooklyn artist collective Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine. Helmed by BRIC and Prospect Park Alliance in their partnership with NYC Parks, the art project utilizes the words of the poet Lucille Clifton to offer “a message of resilience and perseverance.” “This public artwork provides a message of strength and joy, celebrating and uniting our community during these difficult times,” said Kristina Newman-Scott, BRIC’s President, in a press statement. “We are delighted to continue our important partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance through this meaningful activation of the Bandshell inspired by a local and engaged arts collective.”
Displaying themes of racial equity and a different narrative on unoccupied public spaces in the background, Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine’s project will be on view from October 2020 through May 2021.
22. Light of Freedom at Madison Square Park
Amidst the greens of Madison Square Park is a torch whose fire is made up of the arms of blue mannequins. An outdoor art project, Light of Freedom speaks on the latest political turmoil engulfing the nation, with a global pandemic that affects the lives of tens of millions of Americans and large-scale social justice protests for racial equality that is long overdue. The torch is meant to represent the beacon of democracy by closely resembling the torch held by Lady Liberty that had been displayed in the same park before.
The artist Abigail DeVille said that the project is inspired by the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. “In my research, I have found that the first Blacks to be brought to New York City were eleven Angolans in 1626. That makes people of African descent the second-oldest group of settlers in New Amsterdam, after the Dutch,” DeVille said on Madison Square Park’s website. “Unfortunately, history has erased the contributions and victories of this group. I want to make something that could honor their lives and question what it means to be a New Yorker, past, present, and future.” It will be on display through January 31st, 2021.
23. Shantell Martin Mural at Rockaway Playground
Photo by Jorge Marrón
Undulating and interwoven white lines on the black surface of the “Big Yard” Seaside playground at Waterside Children’s Studio School make up a new 16,000-square-foot mural by award-winning artist Shantell Martin. Located near the new Rockaway Hotel and used by 700 students and numerous community members, the outdoor recreational space provides the ground for Martin to showcase her mural to pedestrians as well as guests who look down from the rooftop of the Rockaway Hotel.
The mural consists of iconic, monochromatic black and white interconnected lines, Martin’s signature style of drawing, that come together in various text and image formats in an effort to inject more energy and aesthetics into the Rockaway community and its urban beach landscape. “Because of the scale, there are multiple ways to experience the piece. What you have on the ground is very different from the experience you have of it from a higher perspective where you get to see how the lines, words, and faces are actually interacting with each other,” Martin said. “It’s all about discovery and letting people interact with it the way they naturally feel inclined to.”
24. Mother Cabrini Statue in Battery Park City
Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
A statue designed and created by the sculptors Jill Burkee-Biagi and Giancarlo Biagi dedicated to Mother Cabrini was unveiled by Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York City’s Battery Park in October. Located just south of the South Cove on the Battery Park Esplanade, the statue is in honor of Saint Frances Xavier (Mother) Cabrini. Born in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano in modern-day Italy in 1850, Mother Cabrini was the first American citizen to be made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
Governor Cuomo announced plans for the creation of a Mother Cabrini statue and memorial on Columbus Day 2019. The announcement came in the wake of controversy surrounding the She Built NYC initiative from Mayor de Blasio and his wife Chirlaine McCray. She Built NYC will add five new statues of women in New York City, including one of Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to serve in Congress. The five women were selected in part through a public voting process, and although Mother Cabrini won the vote, she was not chosen to be honored. A spokesman for She Built NYC stated at the time that she had not been selected because tributes already existed.
25. AfroPick at Elmhurst Sculpture Garden
Photograph Courtesy of Elmhurst Sculpture Garden
“Artist Yvonne Shortt’s newest sculpture African American Marbleization: AfroPick: Bantu Knots and the Underground Railroad is the latest addition to the African American Marbleization series, a collection of outdoor sculptures by the artists that pays tributes to people of color and commemorate their history. Based on ancient wood and stone designs made from 5,500 years ago, the sculpture sits in Elmhurst Sculpture Garden which was created in 2016 by a group of volunteers who cleaned up the area.
The face of the sculpture is fractured in order to signify the anguish African Americans experienced in their lives, and the piece presents the path they took in their request for freedom, extending from the U.S. South to New York and all the way up to Canada.
26. Doors for Doris at Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Photo by Nicholas Knight, Courtesy Public Art Fund
Artist Sam Moyer created a massive three-part hybrid sculpture using imported stones and rock indigenous to New York in order to pay homage to Public Art Fund founder Doris C. Freedman at the plaza named for her outside Central Park.
According to Public Art Fund’s website, “these polished stones bear the markings and shapes of their original uses. They also display the unique colors, patterns, and geological history of their sources — quarries in Brazil, China, India, Italy, and beyond. Each stone in Moyer’s mosaic compositions takes on an even more striking hue against the others and the locally-quarried rock, an apt metaphor that encourages us to consider the diverse character of our city and our interconnected lives within it.” The installation will run from September 16, 2020 to September 12, 2021.
27. Bowery Graffiti Wall Mural
On the Bowery graffiti wall, Groundswell has completed the newest mural to be seen at the street art site in a year. The work was designed by artist Raul Ayala and painted by a team of ten youth artists The last piece, by Japanese artist Tomokazu Matsuyama “Matzu” was completed in September of last year. The mural for 2020 coincides with the 25th anniversary of Groundswell, an organization that uses art for change. The new mural at the Bowery graffiti wall, located on Houston Street between Bowery and Elizabeth streets, incorporates numerous portraits of Black figures and also has a seafaring folklore theme with mythical creatures pulling down statues. On the left side, the skyline of Manhattan appears.
Equidorian-born Raul Ayala has said, “For me, building imagination and sharing knowledge alongside a younger generation of artists is a great manifestation of the fruits of this shift. With this mural, we are also bringing intergenerational participation into a future that honors our past while actively creating a different path of existence.”
28. Poetry Path in Battery Park City
Photo by Daniel Terna
Poets House and Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) launched the Poetry Path, an immersive public art installation which features work from more than 40 poets, at northern length of Battery Park City, from Nelson A. Rockefeller and Teardrop Parks to the North Cove Marina.
The works of the poets, with themes of the relationships between people, nature, and the urban landscape, are reproduced on bench slats, banners, pavers, pathways, and signs. The installation will be up through 2021.
29. King Nyani at Hudson Park
The largest bronze gorilla statue in the world has arrived in New York City. King Nyani is on display at Bella Abzug Park in Hudson Yards. The statue is designed to raise awareness about the endangered mountain gorilla species, of which only around 1000 remain worldwide, and to change the perception of gorillas among New Yorkers. Instead of terrorizing New York City atop the Empire State Building, this gorilla will be giving out free hugs to any willing New Yorkers. In fact, its giant hands are designed to hold 2 to 3 people at a time.
King Nyani is a continuation of a series of works by Gillie and Marc, donated to place around the world, which have highlighted endangered species as part of their initiative Love the Last. Their statues of the last three northern white rhinos were on display in Astor Place in 2018 (now only two of the rhinos remain). King Nyani is based on an actual gorilla, the head of a family of mountain gorillas that Gillie and Marc met on a trip to Uganda. It is almost 23 feet long, 8.5 feet high and weighs 4,766 pounds. See more photos here. King Nyani will be on display through April 2021.
30. New Sculpture Paying Homage to Harlem
Photo courtesy of the Department of Transportation.
The New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program, Harlem based non-profit, the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and New York-based artist Kenseth Armstead recently unveiled the Boulevard of African Monarchs monument. Located at 116th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd/St. Nicholas Avenue in Manhattan, the sculpture features representations of the multiple African kings. The sculpture itself is equally grand, a 10′ x 10′ x 10′ monument made to emulate the style of Tiebele house paintings, a style of artwork made by African women long before the transatlantic slave trade began its cruel existence.
Boulevard of African Monarchs is the first sculpture in Armstead’s Sankofa_series. The works are meant to celebrate Africans and their diaspora and to proclaim that Black Lives Matter with bold, three-dimensional artwork. The work is a monument to Black beauty, and is free for all to view in public.
31. A Monumental Work at Socrates Sculpture Garden
Jeffery Gibson; ‘Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House; 2020; Courtesy the Artist; Socrates Sculpture Park; Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; Kavi Gupta, Chicago; Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; Image by Scott Lynch.
A massive new piece, named Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, is now on display at Socrates Sculpture Garden in Queens. The vibrantly colored sculpture was created Jeffery Gibson, recipient of the 2019 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.” It is meant to serve as a monument to inclusion and diversity.
Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House draws inspiration from and pays visual homage to Indigenous North American peoples, pre-Columbian Mississippian architecture, and to modern-day queer camp aesthetics. The multi-tiered structure is a reference to the architecture of the ancient city of Cahokia, the largest city of the North American Indigenous Mississippi people. The installation will be up until March 14, 2021.
32. Reverberation at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY
Reverberation, a piece by sculptor Davina Semo is on display along the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The large-scale installation is made up of interactive bells and is meant to evoke public modes of communication that harken back to New York City’s maritime history. Located adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge, the piece explores our relationship to industrial material and the built environment. And yes, park visitors can ring the bells! Reverberation will be on view through April 2021.
The installation is supported by the Public Art Fund and was curated by Daniel S. Palmer. The Public Art Fund uses contributions from individuals, corporations, and private foundations to support works of art throughout the five boroughs, including the artwork at LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B.
33. 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
Simone Leigh’s Brick House has been admired from afar as it loomed over 10th Avenue this past year. This month, visitors can get an up close look at the giant sculpture when the Spur, the newest section of the High Line last year. It was 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 has been extended until Spring 2021.
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