Reclining Liberty public art statue rendering in Morningside Parkby Zaq Landsberg, Marcus Garvey Park
Reclining Liberty by Zaq Landsberg, Marcus Garvey Park

Spring is a great time to be out and about in New York City seeing public art. It’s not too cold, it’s not too hot, it’s usually just right. There is an abundance of new public art on display this month, from up in the Bronx, where an eagerly awaited exhibition by Yayoi Kusama will be featured at New York Botanical Garden, to Prospect Heights, Brooklyn where a meditative sound installation bellows among blossoming cherry trees. You could promenade through the city taking in culture and art without ever being inside. Check out the new and ongoing public art on display and plan to make a day of fresh air art experiences.

1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg Statue in Downtown Brooklyn

Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue at City Point Downtow Brooklyn
Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue at City Point in downtown Brooklyn. Photo by Bob Krasner

Artists Gillie and Marc created this bronze statue of late U.S. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to commemorate her in the struggle for gender equality and human rights. The statue, located in downtown Brooklyn is one of ten statues of notable women installed in NYC by the artists to increase the representation of women in public sculpture from 3 to 10% . The double-step base represents the Supreme Court and the climb she made to get there.

To visit the statue, you will need to make a free reservation through City Point. Walk-ins are welcome as time permits. The statue is on view from noon to 8PM daily in the lobby of City Point in Downtown Brooklyn and is also visible through the glass doors of the building.

2. Finally! KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature Opening at New York Botanical Garden

Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama NYBG
Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama Photo Courtesy of New York Botanical Garden

The long-delayed garden exhibition KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature will open at New York Botanical Garden on April 10th. The exhibition will be a comprehensive survey of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama lifelong obsession with the natural world. KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature will include programs, a publication, and exhibits both in the gardens and within the surrounding buildings of the 250-acre landscape.

The artist’s spectacular sculptures, signature polka-dotted organic forms, and mesmerizing paintings of plants and flowers will be presented along with archival material never before publicly exhibited. The change of seasons will complement the spectacular works during the six-month run of the exhibit. The Yayoi Kusama exhibit KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is on view from April 10 through October 31, 2021. Tickets are available through the New York Botanical Garden website.

3. Reclining Liberty at Morningside Park

Reclining Liberty by Zaq Landsberg, Marcus Garvey Park
Rendering of Reclining Liberty by Zaq Landsberg, Morningside Park. Photo courtesy of the artist

Reclining Liberty by artist Zaq Landsberg is set to premiere, after much delay, in Morningside Park on April 26. The slightly weary-looking Lady Liberty, posed on her side, head propped up by her hand seems to be waiting, like most of us, for better days that surely are coming.

The sculpture is composed mostly of plaster resin and coated with oxidized copper paint to mimic the copper patina of the real Statue of Liberty. The artist, in explaining his draw to monuments states, “They are literally where the political and the aesthetic meet.” You can visit the public art statue at the base of the stairs at 120th Street and Manhattan Avenue in Harlem.

4. Giant Pin Cushion Installation of Flowers and Willow Welcomes Spring in the Garment District

Giant Pin Cushion art installation on the street in the garment district created with colorful botanical materials
Giant Pin Cushion art installation incorporated into the Garment District Alliance kiosk district created with colorful botanical materials by Floratorium artists. Photo courtesy of Garment District Alliance

The enormous bronze needle and button public art sculpture you may have seen on 7th Ave next to the garment district info kiosk has a companion for the summer titled Pin Cushion. The giant floral arrangement has transformed the Garment District Alliance kiosk into a delightful place to stop, look and get information about the district.

Pin Cushion was created by Patricia Gonzalez and Carlos Franqui of Floratorium and is made up of 50+ bales of curly willow, nine wisteria bales, and hundreds of faux hydrangeas, poppies, greenery, and butterflies. New Yorkers are encouraged to stop by and visit the exhibit through the summer.

5. The Met Roof Garden Installation by Alex Da Corte

The view from the Met rooftop garden. As Long As The Sun Lasts by Alex Da Corte will be on view starting April 16, 2021.

The MET rooftop garden has a spectacular view and when there is an art installation it is all the more amazing to visit. As Long As The Sun Lasts by Alex Da Corte is the new roof garden commission set to open April 16. Expect a new type of monument, reconfigured for modern times evoking the utopian possibility of innocence and play during the uncertain feelings of today.

According to Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met, “The installation, which the artist initiated as the pandemic first took hold of the world, evokes notions of uncertainty, nostalgia, sadness, and hope so inherent in our turbulent times. With this commission, Da Corte has created a work of art that meets the present moment and its challenges with the promise of optimism.” This site-specific exhibition will be open to view at The MET with ticketed admission to the museum.

6. The Flag Project at Rockefeller Center

Flag Project display at Rockefeller center
The Flag Project at Rockefeller Center features 83 winning photgraphs produced as flags. Photo courtesy of courtesy of Tishman Speyer

The Flag Project 2021 is a public art installation celebrating the medium of photography with 83 winning submissions produced as flags flown on the iconic flagpoles of Rockefeller Center. The public art installation also features guest photographers, invited by Aperture, who have helped define New York in photographs, including Kwame Brathwaite, Renee Cox, Elliott Erwitt, Duane Michals, Ryan McGinley, Susan Meiselas, Nan Goldin, and Tyler Mitchell.

The 2021 Flag Project installation will showcase the diversity, energy, endurance and imagination of NYC with photographs of, for or inspired by the city’s faces, objects and textures. The Flag Project is on display through April 30.

7. Aperture Lightbox Street Portraits by Jamel Shabazz

Jamal Shabazz with his photograph in the Aperture Lightbox installation in Rockefeller Center. photo courtesy courtesy of Tishman Speyer.

Aperture and Rockefeller Center present an outdoor exhibition of New York City street and subway photographs by Jamel Shabazz, who is known for his authentic and spontaneous depictions of NYC life. Jamel’s career began in 1980 and spans forty years.

Fourteen of Shabazz’s portraits will be displayed in the heart of the city, installed on seven-foot-tall lightboxes across Rockefeller Center’s public plazas. From youth culture to a wide range of social conditions, Shabazz’s street photographs are an endearing and truthful depiction of his subjects from the 1980s to the present. You can see them in the Rockefeller public plazas alongside the Flag Project installation.

8. Midnight Moment in Times Square

Video still of Wacissa by Allison Janae Hamilton.
Wacissa by Allison Janae Hamilton. Video still courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery.

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 brings Wacissa (2019), by artist Allison Janea Hamilton. In her video installation, Hamilton transports viewers through a series of rivers in her home region of North Florida.

The rivers she navigates are all linked through the area’s Slave Canal, so-called as it was built via slave labor in the 1850s to aid the transport of cotton through the Florida panhandle. Filming from her kayak, Hamilton placed the camera into the water, plunging viewers directly into the river. 

9. Sound Installation Loved at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

loved, a sound installation by composer Michael Gordon was written in response to the Covid 19 pandemic and will be played hourly in Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry esplanade.

In commemorating the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a place for reflection with loved , a site-specific outdoor sound installation by composer Michael Gordon.  Performed by percussionist David Cossin, the recording of the meditative composition for seven vibraphones plays hourly on Cherry Esplanade. The duration of the piece is five minutes, twenty-eight seconds.

The month-long cherry blossom season, called Hanami, is a centuries-old tradition of flower viewing. You can meditate in the natural beauty of the blossoming trees as this haunting and poignant tribute is broadcast throughout the esplanade. loved will be played hourly through May 9th at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Esplanade.

10. Outdoor Reading Rooms

Outdoor reading room by Heinrich Spillman

At the Brooklyn Public Library, you can enjoy a good read outside in the warm spring weather at the library’s new outdoor reading room. Outdoor seating and WiFi accessibility will be provided at twenty locations throughout the Brooklyn Library system. At the Central Library, guests can sit on pieces crafted by artist Heinrich Spillman made of reclaimed wood saved from destruction by woodchippers and landfill. The majority of the wood was sourced from Green-Wood Cemetery.

In conjunction with the reading rooms, ten libraries across Brooklyn will feature Whispering Libraries, a curated, audio experience taking place outdoors. The sound installation invites the public to listen to a curated playlist of music, poetry, oral histories, podcast excerpts, spoken literature, and more. Some of the things you might hear include excerpts of speeches by the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis, classical music from BPL Creatives-in-Residence ETHEL Quartet, and prescient words from writers Naomi Klein and Fran Lebowitz. The audio is piped through hidden speakers and can be heard up to five times a day on weekdays and select Saturdays starting at 7:30 a.m. You might even spot a volunteer cyclist biking through the streets broadcasting the playlists!

11. Large Scale Paintings at Brookfield Place

Monochromatic artwork with gold paint added by Tatiana Arocha at Brookfield Place
Tatiana Arocha: ANHELO UN BOSQUE, ANHELO DE ALBA, ANHELO displayed at Brookfield Place. Photo courtesy of Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place is a multi-use destination for shopping, dining, ice-skating, and innovative public art programming that never disappoints. Currently on display at Winter Garden at Brookfield Place are the works of two women artists with pieces of grand scale and subject.

Have your perception altered at Anne Vieux’s digitally made vinyl artwork float. This luminous hyperreal “painting” challenges the common perceptions of painting as a window, mirror, or frame through the compression of vinyl into screen space dimensions. Celebrate Earth Day early through monochromatic artwork by Brooklyn-based artist Tatiana Arocha depicting the exploitation of natural ecosystems. Arocha, a Colombian native, roots her work in her layered relationship to her country’s vulnerable lands, particularly its rainforests. You can view the art from 8 AM to 10 PM every day. Winter Garden in Brookfield Place is located on the Hudson River in lower Manhattan at 230 Vesey Street. Keep reading to check out installations still on view from previous months!

May We Know Our Own Strength Illuminates Stories of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Survivors

Photograph by  MK Luffin

Integrating visual art and technology into a large-scale sculptural representation of the stories of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya created May We Know Our Own Strength. Presented in conjunction with the Meatpacking BID and NYC Commission on Human Rights, Phingbodhipakkiya, a Public Artist in Residence (PAIR), designed the interactive installation that will transform the accounts of survivors into large room-size sculptures. The high-tech installation employs sixteen internet-connected printers, placed in a high traffic storefront window that will relay anonymous survivors’ stories provided through an online submission form. New Yorkers are invited to submit stories anonymously through the website MayWeKnow.NYC. Each submission immediately activates a printer and lights a corresponding incandescent bulb, visible from a storefront window at 401 W. 14th Street.

The livestream cascading ribbons of paper that emerge from the printers create a 24-hour online visual representation of how many stories are received at a given time. At regular intervals Phingbodhipakkiya will enter the installation and seat herself at the base of the growing heap, beginning a brief ritual to affirm human dignity and courage in the face of adversity. She will then weave these printed stories into a collection of intricate hanging paper sculptures. The artist will hold a nightly vigil every evening at 8PM in memory of the six Asian women killed by a white shooter in Atlanta, Georgia. May We Know Our Own Strength is on display April 1 through May 15 at 401 W. 14th Street in the Meatpacking District

13. Geometric Properties at ARTECHOUSE

Geometric Properties at ARTECHOUSE

Geometric Properties by Dutch visual and fractal artist Julius Horsthuis is the latest immersive experience to debut at ARTECHOUSE, an innovative digital art space in the former boiler room of Chelsea Market. The stunning multi-sensory show takes visitors on a “mind-bending journey through the infinite geometric patterns of fractal worlds.” The experience merges Horsthuis’ “beautiful immersive worlds of endless patterns” with the state-of-the-art technology available at ARTECHOUSE. 

Original soundtracks by Michael Stearns and David Levy accompany Horthuis’ enveloping images. Outside of the central exhibition space, original work from ARTECHOUSE’s creative team with Fractal Lab by Simon Alexander Adams and Corrugated Origami pieces will be on display. These works further explore the principles of fractals. Geometric Properties is open to all ages and will be on view from March 1st to September 6th, 2021.

14. Talking Heads at 85 Broad Street

Talking Heads at 85 Broad Street
Eco Dev Art Installation and Misc. Winter Shots on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 in New York. (Ann-Sophie Fjello-Jensen/Alliance for Downtown New York)

85 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan is now home to two new light sculptures. Hungarian artist Viktor Vicsek created the piece entitled “Talking Heads.” It features two 21-foot tall heads covered in 4,000 LED lights. The lights change to create different facial expressions as the heads communicate.

The interactive sculpture “C/C,”  designed by Singapore-based artist Angela Chong, is a bench made of contoured acrylic panels bound by steel. It performs a rainbow-colored LED light show at night while casting interesting shadows during the day.

15. KAWS: WHAT PARTY at Brooklyn Museum

KAWS exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum

A sweeping survey of KAW’S career from his roots as a graffiti artist to a dominating force in contemporary art, KAWS: WHAT PARTY  highlights five overarching tenets in the artist’s practice. You will be immersed in the art of KAWS through the various sections of the exhibition.

Renowned for his pop culture-inspired characters in paintings and sculpture and playful use of abstraction with meticulous execution, the show covers drawings, paintings, bronze sculptures, objects and monumental wooden sculptures of his well known COMPANION character. Museum visitors can digitally interact with the art through AR (augmented reality) app on their smartphones. The exhibition is on view through September 5, 2021.

16. The séances aren’t helping at the Met

Seances aren't wokring sculptures in The Met Facade
Installation View of The Seances aren’t helping I, 2021 Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner. Image The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo Bruce Schwarz

The séances aren’t helping by Carol Bove will be the second commission featured on the facade of The Met Fifth Avenue. The spaces Bove’s work will fill have historically been empty. Though the niches were intended to contain art, they were empty for 117 years. Bove’s four massive works are sculpted into nonrepresentational forms that “resonate with modernist styles such as Art Deco and abstraction.”

Bove’s piece contrasts the classical style of Richard Morris Hunt‘s facade design,  which “subtly calls for us to reevaluate and reckon with the legacies of tradition.” The tile also, The séances aren’t helping, further emphasizes the ongoing struggle to reckon with our past. The sculptures will be on display until November 2021.

17. South Street Seaport Light Installations

Photo credit Happy Monday

An exploration of light continues at the South Street Seaport with works entitled Electric Dandelions, Hands of Inspiration and Daisies. All three installations are walkable throughout the cobblestone streets of the district and come to life at night. though they are also viewable any time of day.

Electric Dandelions are 28-feet tall sculptures lining Fulton Street. They are constructed from steel and acrylic spheres featuring a seemingly endless interactive display of LED animations. Artist Abram Santa Cruz and the LA-based art collective Liquid PXL created the work in collaboration with Art House Live and Fired Up Management.

Hands of Inspiration by Kareem Fletcher uses multicolored patterns to represent themes of diversity, unity, and equality through a series of works displayed in the windows of 193 Front Street in partnership with the South Street Seaport Museum. Daisies presents a range of multidisciplinary work in the form of an outdoor walkable gallery. Curated by artist Paige Silveria, the series of art and photography draws inspiration from the vibrantly wrought cult classic 1996 film “Daisies”. The work is best viewed after dark.

18. Largest Tile Mosaic by Rashid Johnson

Rashid Johnson mosaic
Courtesy of the Artist

The work of Rashid Johnson employs a wide range of mediums to explore the themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identity, personal narratives, and materiality. His work often includes diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history.

The mosaic Untitled Broken Crowd is composed of handmade ceramics, wood, brass, oyster shells, spray paint, wax, soap, and mirrors the soaring piece spans 14 by 33 feet. Located at 200 Liberty Street at Brookfield Place, visitors will be able to contemplate Johnson’s extraordinary piece mounted in the lobby entrance. The glass facade of the building also allows the piece to be highly visible from the surrounding streets.

19. Awol Erikzu Bus Shelters

Bus shelter art by Awol Erikzu
Photograph Courtesy of the Artist

New Visions for Iris is a 200-site photography exhibition by the multidisciplinary artist Awol Erikzu on display in JCDecaux bus shelters across the city. Creating visual poems, the Ethiopian born, Bronx raised artist imagines an inclusive reinvention of our shared public spaces. The portrait and still life compositions include a diverse and colorful array of motifs and references that challenge the status quo of typical commercial images usually seen in these spaces.

A map published online is available to view locations in NYC.  Presented by Public Art Fund, New Visions for Iris is Erikzu’s first solo public exhibition and will be on view from February 24 through June 20, 2021.

20. Port Authority Bus Terminal Exhibition

Port Authority Bus Terminal exhibition at Six Summit Gallery
Photo courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

We love art exhibitions in unlikely places, and there may be no place more unlikely than the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The latest installation is inside the Six Summit Gallery, on the first floor of the bus terminal’s South Wing.

The exhibition “Journey to the Sky” showcases fifteen local and regional artists, eight from New York City, and others from New Jersey and Connecticut (with a handful from outside the area including California and abroad).

21. Sea View Mural

Spirit of Sea View Hospital Mural
Miss Virginia Allen, the last living Black Angel nurse at the unveiling ceremony in January

Just in time for Black History Month, a new mural was unveiled at last month at Staten Island’s Sea View Hospital. “The Spirit of Sea View” by Yana Dimitrova, depicts the hospital’s deep history dedicated to serving the most vulnerable populations of New York, including the role of the Black Angels. The project was completed under New York City Health + Hospitals Community Murals Project in partnership with the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and is located in the E. Robitzek Building at Sea View.

It consists of four panels, each highlighting significant individuals and events of Sea View’s past. In the mural, you’ll see a reference to the Delft terra cotta panels that were salvaged from the abandoned tuberculosis buildings in the hospital. One of the panels focuses on the Black Angels of Seaview Hospital who were critical in providing care for patients during the tuberculosis pandemic (the cure for tuberculosis was discovered at Sea View). Called Black Angels by their parents, around 300 of African American nurses came to Seaview from across the country between 1928 to 1960 to help patients fight tuberculosis. Although many white nurses left Seaview during the height of the pandemic, Black nurses fearlessly and heroically served patients at the risk of their own lives.

22. The Supremacy Project at St. Ann’s Warehouse

Supremacy Project at St Ann's Warehouse
Photo courtesy Julian Alexander

On the facades of St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn, you can find Julian Alexander & Khadijat Oseni’s Supremacy Project, a public art project that addresses “the systemic oppression and violence BIPOC communities are fighting to end through art.” The project began after the killing of George Floyd and uses photography, poetry, design and branding to “evoke the ubiquitous nature of injustice in American society.” The core images are both familiar culturally and historically — Mount Rushmore, for example — or rooted in current events — police officers in riot gear in Times Square. They are juxtaposed with branding that looks like that of the company Supreme, or with other imagery, to provoke conversation.

The project is a combination of two exhibitions: Michael T. Boyd’s Lost Ones. Culture Found, which reexamines the legacy of widely known victims of police brutality and hate crimes, on the building’s Water Street facade; and Julian Alexander and photographer Steven “Sweatpants” Irby’s Supremacy: Who Protects Me From You?, which illuminates the systemic inequities at the core of our government, on the Dock Street exterior of St. Ann’s Warehouse. The forerunner to this installation, 21-foot murals entitled Supremacy: Who Protects Me From You?, was first installed in the Brooklyn Navy Yard last summer. The panels were defaced repeatedly, “reinforcing the work’s message.” The Supremacy Project will be on view until April 25th, 2021. St. Ann’s Warehouse was also hosting impromptu rooftop concerts during the pandemic, which were intended to be appreciated by people from afar on the ground.

23. Illuminate Cities Project Collective

Illuminate Cities Project Collective installation on COVID-19 on the Bowery
Photo by Alex Contell

The Illuminate Project Collective, a collective of New York City-based planners and architects, has just installed a digital light installation in the windows of NYS Assembly District 74 Offices: 107 Ave. B that explores the pandemic impact on New York City. The work of art depicts the five boroughs through data visualizations that dramatically show communities that were hardest hit by COVID-19. According to the artists, “the installation we developed operates as a vessel for public data about New York City and currently explores  discrepancies in the way the pandemic affected various communities.

Specifically, the installation “uses light intensity and color saturation to form a sequence of data maps, first illustrating the neighborhoods most affected by COVID-19 in terms of infection and death rates, then juxtaposing them with the racial and economic demographics of the same areas. The sequential overlay suggests and exposes structural inequities. It aims to prompt viewers to question, what causes these disparities across our city? What can we do to counter them? Which communities are most in need of our support?” As COIVD-19 vaccination data becomes available, mirroring the inequities seen since the beginning of the pandemic, these visualizations that make data accessible and understandable to the public are more important than ever. On display March 1 to April 12 2021, the installation is visible from outside the venue at a safe distance from 10am to 11pm daily.

24. Intertwining Colors

Intertwining Colors mural
Photo courtesy ArtBridge

Intertwining Colors, a large-scale, hand-painted mural by artists Hisham Akira Bharoocha and Maria Lupianez is now on display through June 2021 at NYCHA‘s Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea Houses in Manhattan. The mural features portraits of members of the local community, who according to the ArtBridge, the organization behind the work, are “each dancing joyously, alone yet still connected.” The project was also made possible by Facebook Open Arts and NYC Cultural Affairs.

Intertwining Colors is 355 feet long, painted across 55 panels of outdoor construction scaffolding. You can find it along 17th Street between 9th and 10th avenues and on 26th Street between 9th and 10th avenues.

25. Big Bird in Highland Park

Daniele Frazier's Big Bird
Photo courtesy of Daniele Frazier

In Highland Park, on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, this work of art by Daniele Frazier sits twenty feet high atop a metal post. The “Big Bird” a white-bellied caique parrot, is six-feet tall, made out of aluminum and hand painted in sign enamel.

“Big Bird” is an installation is by NYC Parks which states that the bird is perched “as if it were surveying the activities of park-goers below. Hanging from the perch is a bronze bell, recalling the types of ‘enrichment’ toys that are provided for caged birds. In keeping with themes of Frazier’s past works that depend on interaction with the weather, the bell rings in high winds and can be heard even where the piece cannot be seen.” Another recent art installation in Highland Park was a 3,000 tulip display.

26. Timberwolf

Photo of Timberwolf
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.

27. Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the Gods

Photo of 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.

28. Floating Woman

Photo of Floating Woman
Photo by Daniel Avila, courtesy of NYC Parks

Located in Hunter’s Point South through September 2021, 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.

29. Mother Earth at Rockaway Beach

Mother Earth sculpture by Kris Perry

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.

30. Medusa Sculpture Across from NYC’s Criminal Courthouse

Photo of Medusa Sculpture

A seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Medusa will be on display until April 18, 2021 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.”

31. Prospect Park Bandshell

Photo of art at 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.

32. Doors for Doris at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Doors for Doris at Central Park
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.

33. Poetry Path in Battery Park City

Photo of Poetry Path
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 boetween people, nature, and the urban landscape, are reproduced on bench slats, banners, pavers, pathways, and signs. The installation will be up through 2021.

34. King Nyani at Hudson Park

King Nyani Giant Mountain Gorilla

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.

35. Reverberation at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Davino Semo's Reverberation bells from Pier 1
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.

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