Kolonihavehus glass house by Tom Fruin
Photo courtesy Tom Fruin.

As the city brims with life and warm weather, there are so many new public art installations to enjoy this July. Several of the pieces on display this month seek to bring awareness to some of our society’s most pressing issues including the impact of climate change on bird populations and the storied legacy of slave labor and our national economy. Head to the High Line to check out Meriem Bennani’s first public sculpture Windy or take the time to listen to the acoustic recordings of The Underground Sound; a Soundwalk at Prospect Park. In addition, be sure to keep reading to learn more about other installations still on display from previous months.

1. Windy at the High Line

Windy. Photo by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy of the artist, High Line and Audemars Piguet.

Through May 2023, Moroccan-born artist Meriem Bennani’s first public sculpture, Windy, will be on display on the High Line at 24th Street as part of its summer season art program. Bennani is well known for creating videos that seek to tell stories about human behavior online and offline. Her most recent work includes the video series, 2 Lizards, created with filmmaker Omari Bark in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The piece poignantly captures the experience of quarantine and isolation.

Through Windy, Bennani translated her knowledge of film and animation into a kinetic 3-D sculpture whose movements allude to those present in her videos. Standing at nine feet tall and made from 200 stacked foam disks, the sculpture features a motorized spinning tornado designed to rotate at varying speeds for a full year. Each engine was specifically programmed to ensure all sections of the sculpture spun at varying speeds and sequences, creating loops that cannot be repeated. In addition, Windy has been made to withstand all four seasons with the disks being made of lightweight UV-proof and waterproof foam.