Macy's Spring Flower Show
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 26: A view inside Macy’s Herald Square during the Macy’s Flower Show 2023 on March 26, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s, Inc.)

As spring ramps up into full swing, be sure to take advantage of the warmer weather by checking out some of New York City’s latest public art installations. From Madison Square Park’s flower display to the food-inspired Flag Project at Rockefeller Center and Green-Wood Cemetery’s introspective installation on maternal bonds, there is something for everyone to enjoy and be inspired by. Here are the best public art installations to see in April 2023. 

1. Yu Ji’s Column-Untitled No.3. at the High Line

Public art installation on the High Line
Baseera Khan, Painful Arc II (Shoulder-High) (rendering). Courtesy of the artist and High Line Art.

Three new public art installations are coming to the High Line this spring. The first to debut will be Yu Ji’s Column-Untitled No.3. The Shanghai artist is known for her diverse artistic practice, which features installations and sculptures that utilize various changing elements like liquids and live plants in juxtaposition with solid building materials like concrete and rebar.

Ji’s High Line installation will be visible at 20th Street. Column-Untitled No.3 is made up of “two twisting columns whose design reflects magnified images of the Equisetum—an over 100 million-year-old family of ferns—growing on the park.” The sculpture takes inspiration from the photographs of early 20th-century photographer Karl Blossfeldt and 19th-century German theologian Moritz Meurer. Blossfedt captured detailed black-and-white images of plants, while Meurer taught architectural botanical ornamentation. Due to the material of the columns, concrete and soap, they will change in color and form over the 12-month course of the installation. This public art installation is Yu’s first public art commission and her first solo presentation in New York City. The High Line will welcome more public art installations in the coming months including Gabriel Chaile’s The wind blows where it wishes in May, and Baseera Khan’s Painful Arc II (Shoulder-High) in June (pictured above).

2. The Flag Project at Rockefeller Center

  • Rockefeller Center Flag Project
  • Rockefeller Center Flag Project
  • Rockefeller Center Flag Project
  • Rockefeller Center Flag Project

During the month of April, Rockefeller Center, in collaboration with City Harvest—the world’s first food rescue organization—will present the fourth annual Flag Project. Each year, participants and artists of all levels submit artwork for consideration to be displayed on one of the 193 flagpoles surrounding Rockefeller Plaza. 

Tour the Secrets of Rockefeller Center

A group on Untapped New York's Secrets of Rockefeller Center tour

This year’s theme prompted participants to create designs inspired by their most impactful food memories in the city—inviting the public to delve into their creative and culinary sides. Also included in The Flag Project is artwork from several of the recently opened restaurants in Rockefeller Center’s burgeoning culinary community. 

3. The Macy’s Spring Flower Show

  • Macy's Spring Flower Show
  • Macy's Spring Flower Show
  • Macy's Spring Flower Show
  • Macy's Spring Flower Show

Now through April 10th, the shopping experience at Macy’s Herald Square will be enhanced by the 48th annual Macy’s Flower Show featuring DIOR. The annual display has taken over the main floor, balcony, and windows of the flagship location and transformed those spaces into a “dream-like city in the sky” with thousands of plants, flowers, and trees.

The fluffy clouds, glowing rainbows, and radiant sun shapes make the displays colorful and playful. Once the installation closes, a variety of plants and trees used in the show will be donated to the brand’s long-time nonprofit partner, Henry Street Settlement.

4. Common Ground at the Plaza at 300 Ashland

Common Ground public art installation
Common Ground at the Plaza at 300 Ashland. Photo by Cameron Baylock for Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Located at the Plaza at 300 Ashland, Brooklyn, is Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong’s Common Ground. A site-specific, interactive public artwork, Common Ground consists of a colorful seating landscape and floor motifs that dance across the plaza. Inspiration for this installation was derived from the geometry present within shrines and sacred spaces, transforming the space into a welcoming site for socializing day and night.

At night, Common Ground is illuminated with color-changing lighting and sensors that register environmental audio. In response to nearby sounds, light animations shimmer across the sculpture—with these sounds ranging from the hum of traffic to the voices of passersby. Blending with the colors of the topography, the nighttime lights play with our perception of color. Lighting design and programming were completed by Xena Petkanas and Christoph Gisel. Part of the Van Alen Institute’s Public Realm R+D program and co-produced with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Common Ground can be viewed through May 1, 2023. 

5. New York Now: Home at John F Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4

JFK Terminal 4
John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4, where New York Now: Home will be displayed. Courtesy of Marino PR.

This spring, JFKIAT will expand its T4 Arts & Culture program, located inside Terminal 4 of John F. Kennedy International Airport. The expansion will include a curated, ongoing series of public art installations, exhibits, and performances throughout the year that represent the full New York experience from local art to food and culture. Part of the expansion is the Museum of the City of New York‘s inaugural triennial photography exhibition, entitled New York Now: Home, which will be on view through August 27th. 

Presented alongside MCNY’s exhibition is a Queens-based digital installation highlighting the work of artists from Queens and artists utilizing Queens as the main subject of their art. New York Now: Home seeks to highlight the dwellings and experiences of New Yorkers, with each piece depicting a different meaning of home—reflective of the diversity present throughout the city. Fifteen images can be found throughout Terminal 4 along with two viewing stations in the retail hall, with featured artists including Filipina photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani, Queens native Elias Williams, and Maureen Dreenan, whose work captures inhabitants of Broad Channel, Queens, the only inhabited island in Jamaica Bay

6. The Geometry of Flowers at Madison Square Park

Flowers at Madison Square Park
Flowers displayed in The Geometry of Flowers. Courtesy of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Through May 9, 2023, Madison Square Park will display more than 10,000 spring flowering bulbs as part of its newest art exhibition, The Geometry of Flowers. Featuring tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, fritillaria, and anemones planted to reflect sequences found in Fibonacci numbers, this seasonal exhibition explores geometric patterns found in both the natural and designed worlds. Fibonacci numbers can be found throughout nature including within the swirls of pine cone seeds and the curves of nautilus shells. 

Designs for The Geometry of Flowers were created by Stephanie Lucas, Jessica Kaplan, and Aiyanna Milligan. The exhibition is presented by the Madison Square Park Conservancy in partnership with the Simons Foundation and MoMath, the National Museum of Mathematics. While you’re there, you can enjoy the park’s ongoing public art installations that make up Havah…to breathe, air, life.

7. Embrace The World From Within at Faurschou New York

Faurschou New York

Beginning April 1, 2023, Faurschou New York, a 17,000 square foot private museum located within a former 1920s taxi depot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will host a new exhibition entitled Embrace The World From Within. This exhibition “revolves around physical and metaphorical aspects of the embrace: from the merging together of bodies, becoming something more and new, to the act of acceptance and cover or by contrast as claustrophobic smothering.” 

To explore this theme, the exhibition includes performance, installation, and sculpture spread across three galleries, with each gallery dedicated to a specific artist. The first features Louise Bourgeois’ Fée Couturière (Fairy Seamstress), a tangible sculpture that resembles a hanging bird’s nest. A second gallery features two works from Yoko Ono, We’re All Water and Ex It. In the third gallery, visitors can view a performance piece by Miles Greenberg entitled The Embrace, which features two blind performers locked in a perpetual embrace. Untapped New York Insider’s have the opportunity to view this expansive private museum at an exclusive guided tour on April 15th. Anyone else can view the work on display for free through September 17, 2023. 

8. Mother at Green-Wood Cemetery

"Mother" art installation at Green-Wood Cemetery
Mother on view at The Green-Wood Cemetery February 25–May 7, 2023. Courtesy of The Green-Wood Cemetery. Photography Credit: Maria Baranova

Mother, an installation by artist and performer Eiko Otake, depicts Otake talking to and dancing with her mother, who passed away in 2019. Through videos and sculpture, Mother seeks to inspire its viewers to reflect on their own maternal bonds and the connection our mothers provide us to the distant past. Two videos are included in the installation, both created in 2019 soon after the passing of Otake’s mother, along with photo prints and objects. 

The installation can be found inside Green-Wood Cemetery’s Historic Chapel, a poignant choice given the site’s legacy as a space for contemplation. Mother can be viewed through May 7, 2023. 

9. Midnight Moment in Times Square

Midnight Moment public art installation
A New Earth video still. Courtesy of Times Square Arts.

Times Square Arts presents the latest edition of its monthly public art installation, Midnight Moment. This new iteration features vignettes imagining the future of the natural world as one that is neither apocalyptic nor an Edenic return to primitive Earth. Rather, A New Earth imagines the dynamics of our present messy, global system in which simulations have become entangled with our daily lives. As a result, our perception of the natural world is now directly mediated, suppressed, and amplified by the growing influence of technology. 

In A New Earth, artist Mark Dorf depicts this future world utilizing a combination of gaming and surveillance aesthetics along with animations and footage of the Rocky Mountain region. By doing so, the installation collapses the barrier of what is real—mimicking our current digital consumption of the world. A New World is presented in partnership with Public Works Administration in conjunction with Dorf solo exhibition there, also on display through April 30, 2023. 

10. Inside Out at FiveMyles

Windowphilia public art installation
Inside Out installation. Courtesy of FiveMyles.

On view through May 7, 2023 at FiveMyles in Crown Heights is Inside Out, a site-specific exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Meridith McNeal. Featured in this exhibition is the seriesWindowphillia, life-sized ink and watercolor paintings of windows on paper. The exhibition seeks to play with reflection and layers of internal and external space as a means of depicting the experience of being on one side or the other of incarceration.

Half of the works in this exhibition illustrate views through windows in New York City, one of which includes a painting of a reflected image framed by a piece by Mildred Beltré, alongside a background depicting her studio on Governors Island. Other images include depictions of the ceramic studio at Pratt and a diptych of gated doors from a brownstone in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn while the remainder features scenes of Rome.

Next, check out Explore A Private Art Collection Inside A Former Brooklyn Taxi Depot!